Russian government asks people not to be homophobic while going to Europe

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BELFAST, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 17: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at Belfast International Airport on June 17, 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The two-day G8 summit, hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, is being held in Northern Ireland for the first time. Leaders from the G8 nations have gathered to discuss numerous topics with the situation in Syria expected to dominate the talks. (Photo by Peter Muhly - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Russia has warned homophobic citizens to keep their homophobia in control as they travel abroad. The advice comes from the Russian Foreign Ministry to prevent Russian tourists from causing offences while having journeys to gay-friendly countries. The guidance for visiting France warns that in some countries it is advisable “not to speak or act abusively to members of the LGBT community”. Advice for Russians heading to Spain warns: “Public expression of negative attitudes towards persons with different sexual orientation are not met with understanding in others, so you should refrain from it.” Guidance for Denmark and Austria also warns Russians not to make offensive remarks to local gay people. And the longest guidance is for those who chose Canada as their travel destination. In part it warns about telling homophobic jokes claiming that “in addition to public condemnation, in urban areas with many sexual minorities) particularly Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal) there is a risk of punishment in the form of fines or being charged with ‘hate crimes’.”

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