To: Kirk Caldwell, Kymberly Marcos Pine, Ernest Y. Martin, Ikaika Anderson, Stanley Chang, Ann Kobayashi, Carol Fukunaga, Joey Manahan, Breene Harimoto, and Ron Menor

Suspend our “sister-city” relationship with anti-gay Russian city

The recent anti-gay laws and violence throughout Russia are appalling. Honolulu 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. Please immediately pass a resolution suspending the "sister-city" relationship between Honolulu and Kyzyl, Russia.

Why is this important?

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

Russia's elected leaders are out of control—and we can't stand for it any longer. Russian law allows 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. Russia's “gay propaganda” law makes any parents who tell their children that being gay is okay, any Pride parade organizer, any health official distributing information regarding safe sex between same-sex partners, and even judges and lawyers subject to arrest or fine. Already people are being arrested, beaten, intimidated, and more. Russia’s sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, has said that foreign nationals would be subject to this law.