The U.S. State Department this week issued a statement critical of an ordinance being discussed in St. Petersburg, Russia, that would ban public promotion of homosexuality, including LGBT Pride events. "We have called on Russian officials to safeguard these freedoms, and to foster an environment which promotes respect for the rights of all citizens," the statement read. Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but much of the country remains deeply antagonistic and some say politicians stoke anti-gay prejudice during election campaigns.

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