To Russia, with love: ‘Kiss-in’ protests staged against anti-gay law

MONTREAL – ‘Kiss-in’ rallies are being staged across Canada and around the world today to denounce Russia’s new anti-gay legislation.

Organizers say over 50 cities are taking part, spanning the globe from Berlin to Cape Town to Tokyo.

In Montreal, several dozen people gathered downtown this afternoon to embrace in front of the Russian Consulate.

Christian Genereux, who helped put together the Montreal event, says he’s hopeful increased attention will force Russia to act.

Similar protests are planned for later today in Toronto and Vancouver.

Russia says it has no intention of changing the law despite international pressure ahead of next year’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

The controversial law bans so-called “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” and imposes fines on people who stage gay pride rallies.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has already waded into the issue, saying Canadians expect his government to defend human rights.

Harper said last month Canada is not a country where people are jailed or killed for their political positions or for engaging in certain consensual acts between adults.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has expressed hope that the controversy would be resolved before the Games begin in February.

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