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    Chicago Rebuffs Call to Suspend Moscow Ties over Gay Rights

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    This article contains information not suitable for readers younger than 18 years of age, according to Russian legislation.

    WASHINGTON, July 31 (RIA Novosti) –The city of Chicago will not suspend its “sister city” relationship with Moscow over Russia’s recent criminalization of gay rights activism, resisting pressure from a prominent regional gay rights organization, CBS Chicago reported Wednesday.

    In a statement Tuesday, Equality Illinois called for the suspension and urged Chicago officials to block all Russian participation in the annual Chicago Sister Cities International Festival, beginning next week. Equality Illinois also called for a boycott of recreational or cultural travel to Russia, and urged local businesses to suspend commercial activity involving Russia.

    CBS Chicago reported that the city answered via a statement from Aleksandra Efimova, chair of the Chicago Sister Cities’ Moscow Committee. The report quoted Efimova as saying that “curtailing business and cultural contacts would isolate and further hurt gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Russians” and that she wanted to keep the ties and “emphasize understanding and tolerance.”

     

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