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Canadian MPs call for visas to be withdrawn for homophobic Russian politicians

October 2013, 07
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One of the major political parties in Canada has led calls for the Russian MPs who recently backed the bill to ban homosexual 'propaganda' to be excluded from visiting the country.
 
The New Democrat Party, one of the opposition parties in Parliament, has set up a petition calling for Russians politicians who voted in favour of the recent bill to be denied visas to enter Canada.
 

Russian politics

Russia has been back in the headlines in recent months for its tough-line stance it has taken against homosexuals in the country and has introduced a stream of measures which many countries in the world consider antediluvian and prehistoric.
 
Just three months ago, Russian parliament passed a bill which made it illegal for anyone to be seen providing any individual aged under 18 information about non-conventional relationships. This isn't just relating to homosexuality, any kind of non-traditional relationships is now considered legally taboo, but without question the focus has been on gay couples in the country.
Russia has been seen to have some controversial views.

After the bill was passed on 13th June 2013, President Putin signed it into the constitution on 30th June, effectively introducing it as law.
 
Any person convicted of passing information of a prohibitive nature to minors (aged under 18) will be subject to a fine of 5000 roubles (£100 cash). If the offender holds a position of authority such as a teacher, the fine increases to a maximum of 50,000 roubles whilst large businesses or schools themselves will have to pay as much as 500,000 roubles.
 

Reaction to the Russian vote

Despite the widespread backing for the vote from the Russian politicians, the global audience has been less than happy with the introduction of the new rule.
 
The next winter Olympics is due to be held in 2014 in Russia, a considerable honour which President Putin wouldn't want to lose.
 
However, when the news was announced, a large number of individuals from around the world led calls for Russia to be stripped of the privilege and bombarded the International Olympic Committee with requests to move the Games. Amongst one of the most vocal activists and critics in the UK was actor and comedian Stephen Fry.
 

Proposed ban on visas for MPs who voted 'yes'

The New Democrat Party has now opened a survey and is calling on all members of the public to sign it to add weight to their request.
 
But despite the clear feelings of the NDP neither the ruling Conservatives nor the other main party in Opposition, the Liberals are willing to support the proposal.
 
A visa is a special privilege hence Canadian MP’s are saying “homophobic” Russian politicians should be denied one.
 
  A visa is a special privilege hence Canadian MP’s are saying “homophobic” Russian politicians should be denied one.
The NDC's spokesman, Paul Dewar, the 'Critic for Foreign Affairs' said it would be wrong not to speak out but said that it was important to put 'actions behind your words'. He went on to slam the move as 'truly reprehensible'.
 
When asked whether he would be supporting the plan and whether it made sense, the Foreign Affairs Spokesman, Marc Ganeuau bluntly answered 'no'.
 
However, despite the lack of interest from other major political parties, NDC are pushing ahead with the proposal and are expecting to receive a lot of support in the coming weeks. Health groups, unions, pro-gay as well as human rights organisations have all been supportive and have said they will continue to support the NDP in their quest to get travel visas withdrawn.

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