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Canada summons Russian Ambassador Oleg Stepanov

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Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly asked her services on Monday to summon the Russian ambassador to Ottawa, Oleg Stepanov, following a series of anti-LGBT + tweets, including one targeting an openly lesbian federal minister.

Posts from the Russian embassy’s Twitter account echo the Duma’s adoption last week of a bill banning any “propaganda” LGBT +, or even “promoting non-traditional sexual relationships” to all audiences, in the media, on the internet, in books and in films.

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“The Russians have once again chosen hate propaganda”said Emily Williams, spokesperson for Mélanie Joly. “This is an attack on Canadian values ​​of acceptance and tolerance. Minister Joly asked the ministry to summon the Russian ambassador to communicate this message to him”she added.

The Russian tweets included a photo of a rainbow flag crossed out with a red line and accompanied by comments: “It’s all about family. The family is a man, a woman and children. »

‘Deeply offended’

The embassy also attacked Canadian sports minister Pascale St-Onge, who is openly lesbian, after she denounced the “Russian homophobic propaganda”. In particular, the minister stated that “the treatment of LGBT+ people in Russia is a disgrace and an attack on basic human rights”.

“We cannot tolerate this rhetoric and even less the comments about Minister St-Onge”, underlined the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In an email to AFP, Pascale St-Onge said “deeply offended by the Russian Ambassador’s message against homosexuals while on Canadian soil”calling it a“affront to the hard-won rights of the entire LGBT+ community”.

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Russia is seeking to portray LGBT+ relations as a product of dangerous Western influence, amid the Kremlin’s conservative hardening accompanying its military offensive in Ukraine.

The tweets from his embassy were further posted after a deadly shooting at an LGBT+ club in Colorado and the controversy over the World Cup rainbow logo in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

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