To: Mayor Patsy Kinsey, Mayor, Mayor Pro-Tem Patrick Cannon, Mayor Pro-Tem, Claire Fallon, City Council Member At-Large, David Howard, Charlotte City Council Member At-Large, Beth Pickering, Charlotte City Council Member At-Large, James Mitc...

Mayor Kinsey and Charlotte City Council, sever your sister city relationship with anti-gay Voronezh

The recent anti-gay laws and violence throughout Russia are appalling. Charlotte can and should send a message: We value and cherish our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents and will not tolerate discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters by a sister city. MeckPAC is calling upon Mayor Kinsey and the Charlotte City Council to please immediately pass a resolution severing the sister-city relationship between Charlotte and Voronezh, Russia.

Why is this important?

The following information was excerpted from a similar MoveOn petition to the Los Angeles City Council.

Russia's elected leaders are out of control -- and we can't stand for it any longer. First came a ban on the adoption of Russian-born children not only to gay couples but also to any couple or single parent living in any country where marriage equality exists.

Then came a law allowing police officers to arrest tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian or “pro-gay” and detain them for up to 14 days.

And then the "gay propaganda" law, making any parent who tells their child that being gay is okay, any Pride parade organizer, any health official distributing information regarding safe sex between same-sex partners, even a judge or lawyer, can be subject to arrest or fine. Already people are being arrested, beaten, intimidated and more. One lawmaker even vowed that foreign nationals attending the 2014 Sochi Olympics would be subject to this.

Recent anti-gay violence in Charlotte sister city Voronezh is concerning and is cause for action.

Charlotte should send a clear message that violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens of Voronezh is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Mayor Kinsey and Charlotte City Council should vote immediately to pass a resolution to sever ties with our sister city, Voronezh.