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Posts for June, 2008

Paul Cameron to Speak In Moscow

Jim Burroway

June 16th, 2008

Paul CameronCalifornia may be about to issue its first marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, but that doesn’t mean anti-gay extremists are crawling back into the woodwork anytime soon. Paul Cameron, of the Family “Research” Institute has no intention of fading away. He is in Moscow, where tomorrow he will speak at Moscow State University on a panel called “Social norms and prospects of development of society.”

According to this translated news item, Cameron will be spreading his discredited “research” to Russia, where he remains an unknown quantity. There, he will speak on “Homosexuality and the demographic problem.” Population declines in Eastern Europe and Asia has been very fertile ground lately for anti-gay extremists, and part of the blame for declining birth rates have been leveled squarely at gays and lesbians. No doubt Cameron will add to this by stoking his discredited “Scandinavian Lifespan Study.” You may remember that his misrepresentations surrounding this so-called “study” prompted a stern rebuke from the Eastern Psychological Association last year.

It’s especially distressing to see Cameron speaking to the sociology faculty at Moscow State University. The American Sociological Association has the unique distinction of having denounced him twice in 1985 and 1986. The ASA couldn’t have been more clear about what they thought of his “research”:

“The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research.”

Cameron was also dropped by the American Psychological Association in 1983 following allegations of professional misconduct, and he was censured by the Nebraska Psychological Association in 1984.

Anti-gay extremists have been finding a very receptive audience in Russia and Eastern Europe. The Watchmen On the Walls held a rally in Novosibirsk in which American holocaust revisionist Scott Lively excused Satander Singh’s murder in Sacramento. With holocaust revisionism proving to be so effective in Russia and Eastern Europe, Paul Cameron should feel very much at home.

[Hat tip: Ruslan Porshnev at Anti-Dogma]

See also:
Paul Cameron’s Bedfellows At Moscow State University
Paul Cameron Urges Russia To Suppress Gays
Paul Cameron: A Fool In Moscow
Paul Cameron to Speak In Moscow

Moscow Pride Organizers Jubilant

Jim Burroway

June 2nd, 2008

Moscow Pride organizer Nikolai AlekseevOrganizers of yesterday’s Moscow Pride events consider yesterday’s actions a tremendous success. Throughout the day, they were able to stage two highly visible demonstrations garnering local and international media attention while eluding police. Police had tried to preemptively detain Moscow Pride organizer Nickolai Alekseev earlier that morning, but he was able to get away.

No one was hurt during the events, but five activists were ultimately detained. One was briefly held but let go, while the four who unfurled the banner from an apartment across from Moscow City Hall were released by the court the following Monday morning.

With the release of those four activists, Alekseev declared the event over and hailed the event a success:

“Our people showed that we are not only a force for gays but a political force and won’t compromise on our rights,” he told AFP.

Alekseev elaborated further in an email:

“No human rights group or opposition [has] ever humiliated the Moscow authorities so much.

We wanted to defy the Mayor in front of his office. Not only [has the] homophobia of Mayor Luzhkov been advertised today, but also the full collapse of his administration to prevent gays and lesbians [from] realiz[ing] their constitutional rights to march.

Today, we showed that our group is powerful not only in gay and lesbian aspects, but in general. Our fight is only at its beginning.”

[Hat tip: Bob Schwartz, Gay Liberation Network]

Russian Gay Rights Activists Besieged By Police and Arrested

Jim Burroway

June 1st, 2008

Banner hung from an apartment under siege across from Moscow City Hall

In the latest attempts to hold a Pride demonstration in Moscow, activists unfurled a banner from a private apartment across the street from Moscow City Hall on Sunday. Shortly after 1:00 in the afternoon, activists unfurled the six meter banner reading, “Rights to gays and lesbians — homophobia of mayor Luzhkov to be prosecuted.”

Four unidentified activists were in the apartment, which was immediately besieged by Moscow police who spend the rest of the day trying to gain forced entry into the apartment without a court order. At one point, the police threatened to plant drugs on the four and charge them with false drug charges.

Shortly after 9:00 that evening, police were able to force their way into the apartment and arrest the four activists.

UK Gay News is facilitating a rolling update on their web site of continuing coverage from Russian bloggers. It’s a very riveting account. Bloggers also report that the Russian LGBT websites GayRussia.ru and Gay.ru were taken offline for unknown reasons. (Gay.ru appears to be back online.)

The action across from Moscow City Hall followed a cat-and-mouse game of chase between gay activists and Moscow police. LGBT activists, who had been keeping their plans secret, eluded police and staged a short protest in front of the Tchaikovsky statue at the Moscow music conservatory. Thirty-five people unfurled a banner and flag and shouted pro-gay slogans, and then left before police could arrive.

Protesters in front of the Tchaikovsky statute at the Moscow music conservatory

There are no other reports of arrests of pro-gay activists, although it has been reported that perhaps as many as fifteen anti-gay and nationalist protesters were also arrested.

It had been reported earlier that Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev ordered the Prefecture of the Central Administrative area of Moscow to authorize a Gay Pride demonstration. Since his election the the Russian presidency, there has been widespread speculation that he would be a mere figurehead president as former president Vladimir Putin takes the role as Prime Minister. It appears that Moscow city authorities have adopted a similarly dismissive view of Medvedev’s authority as well.

Russian President Intervenes on Moscow Pride

Jim Burroway

May 30th, 2008

It has been learned that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the Prefecture of the Central Administrative area of Moscow to authorize a Gay Pride demonstration. This came after Moscow Pride organizers had applied for permission to hold five marches every day in May. All of the applications have been denied by Moscow municipal authorities however, claiming that the marches would “endanger public order and cause negative reaction of the majority of the population.”

Local organizers say they have not received confirmation from Moscow City officials of permission to hold the event. They plan on conducting a small demonstration this Sunday in front of Moscow City Hall.

Moscow had banned Pride events in 2006 and 2007. Last year’s Pride demonstration ended in violence. Moscow mayor Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has branded gay Pride parades as “satanic” and vowed that they would never be permitted in the capital.

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.

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