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Lansing May End Relationship With Russian City

Tuesday July 23, 2013

Lansing is considering ending its "sister cities" relationship with the Russian city of St. Petersburg due to anti-gay policies in Russia.

The Lansing State Journal and report Lansing City Council discussed the issue Monday night and plans to take up a resolution soon.

The Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission says the city's relationship with one district of St. Petersburg formally began in 1994 with a youth exchange program but fell dormant after political and geographic districts of St. Petersburg were changed several years ago.

Russia's parliament passed a law banning "gay propaganda" in June. St. Petersburg was one of several cities to pass similar laws at local level before that.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says Russia's anti-gay policies are "abhorrent" but says diplomacy should be tried before severing ties.

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