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SF Supervisor, Gay Rights Activists Call On City Employees To Divest From Russian Investments

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A gay rights activists takes part in a rally in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images)

A gay rights activists takes part in a rally in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Gay rights activists have joined San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener in asking the Retirement Board of the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System to divest all holdings in Russian securities.

A hearing was held before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Thursday to highlight the law in Russia, which criminalizes any activity that supports gay rights.

Gay rights activists at the hearing said San Francisco can strike back by selling $26 million in Russian securities held by the city’s retirement fund.

“These laws in Russia are resulting in a mob mentality, whereby gay Russians and others are being lured into traps, tortured, videotaped and sometimes killed,” said one speaker. “This is no laughing or insignificant matter.”

The push for divestment is getting some pushback for the Retirement Board, which said it will not consider the matter unless a board member makes the request.

But Supervisor Wiener is not giving up the fight.

“It’s a very small amount of holdings with a rather large message behind divestment,” Wiener said. “So I look forward to those conversations.”

The $26 million investment in Russian securities represents 0.14 percent os San Francisco’s $19 billion retirement fund.

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