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PHOENIX -- Gay-rights supporters will gather in downtown Phoenix on Sunday to protest the recent passage of anti-gay laws around the world.

The rally is part of the International Day of Solidarity, taking place in over 20 cities in 18 different countries. It was organized by Phoenix-based human rights group H.E.R.O., the Human and Equal Rights Organizers.

"It really is imperative for the people of the world to speak up and use your voice to whatever capacity you have for justice, for passion and for human rights," said Susan Hurley, a volunteer with H.E.R.O.

The worldwide protests were triggered by several new anti-gay laws in Russia, including one that bans any speech equating homosexuality and heterosexuality. Another law bans the adoption of Russian-born children by anyone from a country that recognizes gay marriage.

"All these things together add up to an incredible human rights concern," said Hurley. "What we're hoping to do is send a message of solidarity to people around the world."

The Phoenix rally is slated to be held Sunday at Civic Space Park beginning at noon.

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