Yeager Asks County Board of Supervisors to Condemn Russia’s Anti-LGBT Laws

Russia inspired pandemic outrage this summer when it introduced a spate of homophobic laws, including one that outlaws “gay propaganda,” which could get citizens and tourists jailed for something as innocuous as wearing a rainbow T-shirt. Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Ken Yeager wants his colleagues to take a stand against the draconian legislation, especially since the country plans to host the 2014 Olympics and Paralympics.

Yeager is encouraging the board on Tuesday to vote for a resolution condemning Russia’s laws, which the county will then forward to the Russian Embassy.

“Santa Clara County residents will be visiting Russia as participants and spectators,” Yeager writes in a memo. “Under the propaganda law, any athlete, trainer, reporter, family member, or fan suspected of being a member of the LGBT community could be put in jail. The atmosphere of violence that has increased since passage of this policy puts visitors at risk for physical harm.”

More from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors agenda for September 10, 2013:

• That new rule requiring supervisors to open up their meeting calendars is a thing now. But a pending change would exempt supervisors from listing meeting attendees if at a large group or dinner event, where itemizing guest lists would be “impracticable.” Joe Simitian can finally find some peace.

As a refugee-impacted county, Santa Clara gets federal funding, which it passes on to a handful of nonprofits to offer displaced immigrants job training and other social services. Here’s a list of where the county’s spending that grant this fall.

Hip, knee and trauma implants for patients at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center will cost $1.3 million through 2014. The hospital sees about 1,000 trauma cases and 100 joint cases a year.

• Looks like a five-year, $5 million contract with Allied Waste Services/Republic Services that was supposed to carry the county through 2014 needs another $2.3 million to make it to next year.

• A plan to plunk a bunch of cattle down in Santa Teresa County Park south of San Jose is moving forward, allowing supervisors to spend a $865,000 grant to place fences and watering troughs around the 1,668-acre swath of wildland.

WHAT: Board of Supervisors meet
WHEN: 9am Tuesday
WHERE: County Government Center, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose
INFO: Lynn Regadanz, [email protected]

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. I’m glad the supervisors are trying to do their jobs solving the County’s problems by passing meaningless feel-good resolutions on matters totally outside their jurisdiction

  2. I support Supervisor Yeager 100% on this.

    “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” by~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

    • Kathleen, it does not matter what your opinion of Russia’s gay policy is, the point is that its not County business and the Supervisors should buckle down and do their jobs. If they want to speak out against Russia’s policy as private citizens, fine, but don’t do it on County time.

      • psa188,
        I respectfully disagree with your perception on this. Not only is everyone entitled to have an opinion, even me, we as individuals, and our government MUST stand up against discrimination against any group.

        Further, the County is most definitely charged with fighting for Civil and Human Rights. If they did not fight for equality, many forms of discrimination would still exist. I applaud Supervisor Yeager for his stand on this issue~

        • We’ll have to disagree, then. Elected officials need to DO THEIR JOB and concentrate on their jurisdictions. The county has enough problems without the Supervisors being distracted by foreign policy. They just brainwashed us into passing a sales tax increase. How about getting their own house in order first?

        • psa188

          They are doing their job. “Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Ken Yeager wants his colleagues to take a stand against the draconian legislation, especially since the country plans to host the 2014 Olympics and Paralympics.”

          Please note the phrase,“We foster internal and external partnerships that advance our mission, values, and goals.” They are charged with, “Value the community: We create an inclusive environment that supports the diversity of our community.”

          Since the country plans to host the 2014 Olympics and Paralympics, they are spot on in their actions on this~

        • Despite all of the mumbo-jumbo high sounding rhetoric propaganda that Ken Yeager spews out, the purpose of a county is to manage county government. The supervisors are incapable of doing so without coming to the voters every year or so, begging for new taxes. They need to get their own house in order before taking other sovereign nations.

        • psa188,

          Again, I disagree. They are doing their job in respect to Civil and Human Rights.

          I agree, that government in general needs to clean up its act. Too much overspending and not enough over site!

        • We’re never going to agree on the abstract philosophical issues. I mostly agree with Jimi Kogura’s post below.

          So, I’ll give you an example on what the county supervisors SHOULD be working on.

          The City of Santa Clara built a library next to the Rivermark shopping center. The building’s finished and ready to go, they simply have to assemble the books and finish the inside. It was supposed to open in December.

          Now, due to some arcane financial issues, the County has initiated legal action against the library. “We are horrified at the county’s attempted action to call a halt to the project,” says Library Foundation Executive Director Maria Daane, noting that the county was informed of the project more than 15 months ago, but chose not to take action until now. see:


          Instead of pontificating about gay rights in Russia, Yeager should be working double-time to resolve the Northside library issue. Of course, opening an already-completed library lacks the trendiness of gay rights so the politicians just don’t care. Santa Clara library is not part of the County library system so the supervisors don’t care.

          So I’ll repeat this until I’m blue in the face: the supervisors need to knock off the useless pontificating and get on with solving real problems. I offer the Northside library is a case study.

  3. He’s planning to run against Evan Low for Fong’s Assembly seat.  Maybe if you’re gay you can’t get enough of political stunts like this, but I agree with you.  There are bigger fish to fry.

  4. > Hip, knee and trauma implants for patients at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center will cost $1.3 million through 2014.

    This “need” can now be dumped on Obamacare, thus saving the county $1.3 million.

    I’ll take my customary 35 percent contingency fee.

    Thenk yew.

  5. Moral issues are not limited to the bounderies of a County.  It takes very little time to comdemn injustice wherever it is happening.  Shining a light on Russia is most effective because Putin is very image conscious. 

    The Supervisor is correct.

    Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or works to improve the lof of others or strikes out against injustice , they send forth a tiny ripple of hope and that converging from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.  RFK

    Supervisor Yeager’s resolution is a tiny ripple of hope, each of us should stand up and join him to build that current.

    • You’re right, we are a Beacon of Hope to the rest of the world.  The rest of the world looks to us for moral guidance.  When we speak on the injustices we see, others take note and try to do better.  They may hate us, but that’s because we are a democracy, and we are free!

      You would have us send impotent messages like this to those that would do evil in the rest of the world?  You would NOT like us to engage in direct military actions like one the president has in mind for Syria?  You are a genius!

  6. I think Mr. Yeager’s outrage is misplaced: he shouldn’t be upset about Russia’s laws but instead about it’s lack of a judicial system corrupt enough to do what ours does routinely, which is usurp the power of lawmaking from both the legislature and the voting public. For as America’s gay marriage lobby proved, with a corrupt judiciary there is no need to secure the support of a legislative majority or win in the court of public approval. Were Russia to model its judiciary after ours, any conniving group with money enough for lawyers and media support could have their way with both Mr. Putin and the nation he leads.

  7. This is the kind of item that is on the Board of Supervisors agenda to improve Santa Clara County?

    I agree with President Yeager that Russia needs to be called out on their anti-LGBT laws, I just feel this isn’t the way to proceed with the matter. Santa Clara has a “sister county” relationship with Moscow, but essentially what Supervisor Yeager is doing is putting himself against the President of Russia. Putin does not care what you (Board of Supervisors) think about his disregard for the LGBT community.

    After reading the recommended resolution proposal, it all has to do with the upcoming Olympic events. Do you really think that a showdown will happen with individuals (athletes or spectators) in the streets of Sochi? I highly doubt anything will occur because it is the Olympics.

    To end, if the spectator or athlete truly believes in a moral standing for LGBT-rights, boycott the Olympics. Or go win a medal and stand proud on the podium. Or being a spectator, wear your pride and if you happen to get punished, you are now a martyr.

    Board of Supervisors, start doing your job as this issue is meant for your own time, not the taxpayers time.

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