Manchester takes a stand against state-sponsored homophobia
Publish Date: 24/08/2012
The city of Manchester is currently twinned with St Petersburg, which historically is an agreement to promote cultural ties, but the news of the laws enforced in Manchester’s sister city has sparked many campaigns against these laws and support for LGBT people living in St Petersburg.
As Pride season is upon us, Manchester City council have launched a text campaign which will be promoted throughout Pride. The campaign will encourage the community during Pride season to support those LGBT people living under these new laws.
Thousands of people will gather in Manchester this weekend for Pride and all visitors and residents are being encouraged to send a text message of support to those affected in St Petersburg. After Pride, all messages will be received by an LGBT group in the city.
As well as the local visitors, Manchester Pride will be visited by one of Russia’s leading LGBT activists to share her experiences of living in St Petersburg. Polina Savchenko is one of the directors of Coming Out, a St Petersburg-based LGBT group that provides vital support to gay people in the city.
Councillor Bev Craig, Manchester City Council’s lead member for lesbian issues, said: "It’s hard to believe that in this day and age that people still suffer state persecution simply because of their sexuality. But, sadly, that is true in many parts of the world, including our sister city of St Petersburg.”
"This is a great chance to send a clear message to gay people in St Petersburg that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in their fight for equality. It would be amazing if we could send thousands of messages of support to our friends in St Petersburg so I would ask people to please send a text. It will only take a minute, but it will mean so much.”
To show your support for all those LGBT people living in St Petersburg, please text PRIDE, then your name and where you come from, followed by your message to 86099. Texts are charged at your standard text rate. That means if you have texts as part of your call bundle it is free.