LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The city of Los Angeles is being urged to sever its sister-city relationship with St. Petersburg amid recently passed anti-gay laws in Russia.

The California-based Courage Campaign has launched an online petition calling on the council to cut ties with the city after a ban on gay pride events, gay adoptions and gay “propaganda” was enacted in June.

“A great city like Los Angeles can’t have this sister-city relationship with this city that is now being known worldwide for its discrimination against LGBT people,” said Mike Bridges of the Courage Campaign.

City Councilman Tom LaBonge has been a key player in the Sister Cities of Los Angeles program.

He’s aware of the controversy surrounding Russia, but is trying to find common ground so that L.A.’s relationship with St. Petersburg remains intact.

“I would hate to lose the people. I would hate to shut down the opportunity that’s there. The council will be briefed on it, my colleagues will have their opinion on it, but I know it’s very important,” said LaBonge.

Currently, Los Angeles has a sister-city relationship with more than 20 cities from around the world.

In 1979, its sister-city relationship with Tehran, Iran, was suspended due to the hostage crisis.


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