Minnesota state senators have introduced a resolution urging a halt to the persecution of gay and bisexual men in the Russian republic of Chechnya. Reports from Chechnya detail the detention, torture, and sometimes extrajudicial killing of gay and bisexual men, and relief organizations are working to evacuate people at-risk in the republic.

The resolution, introduced on Wednesday, demands that the United States and the United Nations take action to halt the persecution of gay men in Chechnya. SF2385 states, in part:

BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that it urges action by the President and the Congress of the United States to help put an end to the horrific arrest, detention, torture, and murder of gay men in Chechnya.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Minnesotans find this situation, which has also involved nongovernmental individuals being encouraged to commit violence and discrimination against gay men in Chechnya, with threats made to their families amidst an atmosphere of support for the genocidal elimination of gay men, to be abhorrent and intolerable in a civilized world.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Minnesotans demand an end to this persecution, with multinational corporations, especially oil companies, using their economic clout to pressure Russian and Chechen authorities to investigate and put a stop to this violence and mistreatment; Minnesotans further demand that Russian and Chechen authorities stop their denials, stop fomenting homophobia and violence, and bring to justice those responsible for these crimes.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Minnesotans demand that the United States and the United Nations respond to this crisis and put pressure on the relevant parties, help provide safe escape to the victims, and provide safe haven/refugee status to them, sending the message that Minnesota is a welcoming, tolerant place.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota is directed to prepare copies of this memorial and transmit them to the President of the United States, the United States Secretary of State, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, the President and the Secretary of the United States Senate, the Speaker and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, the chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Minnesota’s Senators and Representatives in Congress.

The resolution was introduced by DFL Sens. Scott Dibble of Minneapolis, Susan Kent of Woodbury, Erik Simonson of Duluth, Chris Eaton of Brooklyn Center, and Jeff Hayden of Minneapolis.

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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