Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-06-29
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Chicago Sister Cities won't suspend Moscow relationship
Lawmakers send letter to Kerry urging Olympic vigilance
by Matt Simonette
2013-08-04

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Following a call by Equality Illinois last week for Chicago to drop its sister city status with Moscow, the Chair of the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International released a statement July 31 saying that it would be wrong to end the relationship.

"As Chair of the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, I share my deepest concerns with those around the world that have shed light on the discriminatory policies of the Russian government toward its LGBT citizens," said Committee Chair Aleksandra Efimova. "…As a person who has lived her life in both the United States and Russia, I firmly believe the best way I can effect change on this situation is to continue to keep relations open between Chicago and Moscow. I feel that ending the sister city relationship with Moscow will only further hurt the LGBT citizens of our sister city by isolating them from places like our own city of Chicago that embrace their rights as individuals."

She added that, "with an open dialogue and connection with Moscow, we are able to bring to them that which has made Chicago so great—respect for all its citizens and tolerance for diversity."

In an editorial in mid-July, Windy City Times called for Chicago to suspend the relationship. Chicago Sister Cities International is now part of World Business Chicago; its honorary chairman is President Barack Obama. The honorary chairman of Chicago Sister Cities is Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is also the chairman of World Business Chicago. Chicago Sister Cities did not respond to a request for clarification about any specific strategies or timelines by press time.

The Equality Illinois statement called for two additional steps in registering protest: suspending business relationships with the Russian Federation and cancelling cultural and recreational travel to it.

"Among countries with homophobic laws, Russia is unique in that it is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and wants to be a player on the European and world stages, yet it fails to provide basic human rights for millions of its citizens and visitors. More than being persecuted and harassed, people in Russia are also being violently attacked for their advocacy. This cannot go unanswered," said Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov.

Gay bars in Chicago and numerous cities around the world have banned Stolichnaya vodka, a signature Russian import. This past week the Latvian LGBT rights group MOZAIKA urged for the boycott to stop.

"All Stolichnaya vodka for worldwide export is produced in Russia," said Kaspars Zalitis of MOZAIKA in a statement Aug. 1. Stolichnaya is produced by the Latvian company Latvijas Balzams and production takes place in Riga, the capital of Latvia. …The company employs over 600 people in Latvia and our much-weakened economy will suffer if the boycott continues."

Queer Nation responded to the release by saying that SPI, Stolichnaya's corporate owners, had long extolled the product's Russian roots until just before the call for boycott.

"More importantly, though the company claims to be friend to our community, it was silent as the Russian government considered this horrific law, and it said nothing after the law was enacted. Stolichnaya only spoke up after the boycott was announced. Friends do not keep silent when those they claim to value are under attack," said Queer Nation's statement.

SIDEBAR:

Lawmakers send letter to Kerry urging Olympic vigilance

By Matt Simonette

A group of 83 lawmakers, led by U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, last week sent Secretary of State John Kerry a letter seeking assurances about the safety of LGBT athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

The letter follows conflicting reports about whether the athletes would be subject to the harsh anti-LGBT legislation enacted in June. The International Olympic Committee in July said that it had received assurances that they would not, but offered no specifics. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said July 31 that that was incorrect.

"No one is forbidding an athlete with non-traditional sexual orientation from coming to Sochi, but if he goes onto the street and starts propagandizing it, then of course he will be held accountable," Mutko told R-Sport.

A day later, however, Igor Ananskikh, deputy chairman of the State Duma's Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Policy Committee, told Interfax that, "We need to be as polite and tolerant as possible. That is why a decision has been made not to raise this issue during the Olympics."

Nadler's Aug. 2 letter inquired as to "what diplomatic measures the State Department is planning to take to ensure that American LGBT athletes, staff and spectators, and their supporters, are not arrested, detained or otherwise penalized during the Sochi Games. …In light of the importance of U.S. leadership on LGBT issues, and the quickly-approaching Sochi Games, we urge the State Department to determine the appropriate course of action to assure the safety and well being of LGBT and LGBT— supporting individuals involved in or attending the 2014 Sochi Olympics and Paralympics."


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

49 celebs honor 49 Victims of Orlando 2016-06-30
UN Ambassador Power speaks at White House Dialogue on LGBT Human Rights 2016-06-30
Trans women win congressional races 2016-06-29
World news: Italy's adoption law, pro-trans fatwa, David Cameron video 2016-06-28
Equality Act focus of roundtable talk 2016-06-28
Thousands at Chicago's 20th annual Dyke March 2016-06-25
Reaction to UK referendum result, the ILGA-Europe perspective 2016-06-25
DNC video celebrates LGBT progress 2016-06-25
Bipartisan gun-control measure introduced in state House 2016-06-23
Rep. Quigley to Address Equality Act at 35th Annual Proud to Run 2016-06-23
Transgender measure passes City Council vote 2016-06-22
National roundup: Gay trial lawyer, Anderson Cooper, Westboro counterprotest 2016-06-21
World news: Turkish parade, criminal negligence, EU consensus 2016-06-21
Donald Trump to Campaign, Again, with Anti-LGBTQ Leaders and Hate Groups 2016-06-21
Chicago Muslim and LGBTQ leaders unite against efforts to divide 2016-06-21
Diaspora forum opens eyes to persecution across borders 2016-06-19
Sen. Durbin visit to Town Hall apartments spurs discussion on gun control 2016-06-19
Obama's weekly address: Standing with Orlando 2016-06-18
Claps to leave Department of Human Rights 2016-06-17
President Obama speaks in Orlanda, Florida 2016-06-16
World news: Orlando reactions, Thai milestone and Ukraine parade 2016-06-15
Newest edition of Red Ribbon Cash ticket unveiled 2016-06-14
Groups host 'Black and Brown Town Hall' 2016-06-13
HRC: Five Ways Donald Trump Would Roll Back LGBTQ Equality as President 2016-06-09
President Obama hosts his last LGBT Pride reception 2016-06-09
Obama endorses Hillary Clinton 2016-06-09
FACT SHEET: Obama Administration's Record and the LGBT Community 2016-06-09
City Council committee votes to advance trans measure 2016-06-08
Hillary Clinton's historic night shatters barriers 2016-06-07
Obama statement on 35th anniversary of HIV/AIDS in America 2016-06-05
Uptown Target counter-protest strikes emotional chord 2016-06-04
Trans United Fund releases Sanders answers, shares Clinton's Op-Ed 2016-06-03
Views: The Bathroom: America's New Civil Rights Battleground 2016-06-03
Navy Celebrates 2016 LGBT Pride Month 2016-06-03
Trans and allies to support Target Saturday 2016-06-03
White House honors local lesbian actress 2016-06-01
Illinois General Assembly passes LGBT pension bill 2016-05-31
Obama issues his final LGBT Pride Month Presidential Proclamation 2016-05-31
National roundup: Trans survey, Gates ends term, UNC defies HB2 2016-05-31
World news: Church of Scotland, Australian artwork, Tutu's daughter 2016-05-31
 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.

www.windycitymediagroup.com
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by LoveYourWebsite.com