San Jose Ponders Using Sister City to Oppose Russian Homophobic Laws

Can a sister city relationship be used for activism?

By Chris Roberts
|  Friday, Oct 11, 2013  |  Updated 4:12 PM PDT
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San Jose Ponders Using Sister City to Oppose Russian Homophobic Laws

AP

Members of Pussy Riot in Russia. Can San Jose help out?

Homophobic laws in Russia are resonating in San Jose -- where city leaders might be able to use a sister-city relationship to pressure Vladimir Putin, according to reports.

Members of the San Jose City Council have proposed using their city's sister city agreement with Ekaterinburg -- Russia's fourth-largest city, where the Tsar and his family were killed in 1918 -- to pressure current Russian strongman Putin into dropping recent laws aimed at infringing LGBT rights, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Some activists have called for American cities to dissolve sister city relationships with Russia, for Russia's recent moves against LGBT groups.

San Jose City Council members, however, want to open a "dialogue" with their Russian counterparts, while keeping the flow of business and technology dollars open, the newspaper reported.

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