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Moscow’s Banned Pride Day Becomes Pride Month

Jim Burroway

April 25th, 2008

Russian gay rights advocate Nikolai Alexeyev’s bid for a gay pride parade during the May Day holidays was rejected by Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov. Segei Tsoi, the mayor’s spokesman, warned that if they went ahead with the march, there “could be blood, which no one wants. He also accused Alexeyev of trying to “spoil” a traditional labor holiday, a charge which Alexeyev adamantly rejected:

“As if gays don’t support peace and don’t work,” said an incredulous Alexeyev. “Don’t we pay the taxes that support this government? I don’t understand this at all.”

In response, Alexeyev has announced that he will submit notifications for five marches per day for each day in May on different streets around Moscow’s city center. Anticipating that none of these marches will be permitted to take place, Alexeyev says it will demonstrate to the Council of Europe that “homosexuals are not allowed to freely express their opinions in Moscow — in any day in any form, in any street and in any time.” Russia is a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights, which obligates Russia to observe the rights to peaceful assembly and demonstrations. A complaint has been filed in the European Court in Strasbourg.

Mayor Luzhkov has branded gay pride parades as “satanic” and vowed that they would never be permitted in the capital.

Nikolai Alexeyev’s arrestLast year’s Moscow Pride gathering was broken up by violent thugs, Russian Orthodox clergy and police. None of the anti-gay assailants who instigated the violence were arrested. Instead, police hauled off Alexeyev, British gay rights advocate Peter Tatchell, Right Said Fred singer Richard Fairbrass, Italian Member of European Parliament Marco Cappato, German Member of Parliament Volker Beck, and 27 others.

Homosexuality was legalized in Russia in 1993, but discrimination against gays and lesbians remains widespread.

Comments

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Joel
April 25th, 2008 | LINK

“Homosexuality was legalized in Russia in 1993, but discrimination against gays and lesbians remains widespread.”
Lol… This is a fine example of social justice.

queerunity
April 25th, 2008 | LINK

i really admire this gay activists work but i fear for his and the safety of other russian queers

Mark Satterthwaite
April 27th, 2008 | LINK

Another example of a law on the books which left to locals to enforce is ignored.

Tom in Houston
April 28th, 2008 | LINK

Maybe someone should ask Russian Orthodox members in the USA whether they agree with Alexi II’s opposition to freedom of speech and assembly and inaction towards violence by his own members and priests (at least those who are wearing RO vestments) towards Gays

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