John Baird warns gay travellers to beware in St. Petersburg - Macleans.ca

John Baird warns gay travellers to beware in St. Petersburg

A new law effective Saturday, March 17 may affect Canadian travellers

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Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has told the House of Commons he’s concerned about new legislation banning “homosexual propaganda” in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Canadian Press reports. Baird said Canada has lodged an official protest over the new law, which comes into effect on Saturday.

According to an Russian travel advisory on the Foreign Affairs website, the new law prohibits “propagandizing homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality and transsexuality among minors, and prohibiting public actions propagandizing pedophilia.” The advisory also warns, “public actions (including dissemination of information, statements, displays or conspicuous behaviour) contradicting or appearing to contradict this law may lead to arrest, prosecution and the imposition of a fine.”

St. Petersburg is among the world’s most popular tourist destinations. It is the fourth Russian city to put such a law in place. Baird says he’s concerned about the law, which he says runs counter to Canadian values.

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