Activists Set Date for Gay Pride Parade

© RIA Novosti . Andrei Stenin  / Go to the photo bankMoscow Gay Pride 2011
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Gay activists plan to hold a gay pride parade in Moscow on May 27, where the main theme of the event will be bans on "gay propaganda" in Russia, the leader of the Russian LGBT movement, Nikolai Alekseyev, said.

Gay activists plan to hold a gay pride parade in Moscow on May 27, where the main theme of the event will be bans on "gay propaganda" in Russia, the leader of the Russian LGBT movement, Nikolai Alekseyev, said.

It is the seventh year in a row that organizers have filed for permission to hold a gay pride march and demonstration in Moscow. Past applications have always been rejected.

As for the time and place of this year's event, Alekseyev said: "Everything will depend on the government’s decision."

The parade organizers will not insist on a specific venue and are ready to discuss alternatives, he said.

“If the Moscow authorities do not offer us anything, we will hold the parade without an agreement and file a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.”

That court has previously ruled that Russia's ban on gay pride parades violates the European Convention and ordered Russia to pay compensation.

Russia decriminalized homosexual relations 19 years ago.

The law penalizing “the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors” was accepted in several Russian regions (Ryazan Region, Kostroma Region, Arkhangelsk Region and in St. Petersburg), to mixed reactions among Russians, where anti-gay sentiment remains strong.

Representatives of the gay community in St. Petersburg have announced plans to hold a gay pride parade on July 7. U.S. pop superstar Madonna has said she will lend support to the gay community during a concert in St. Petersburg on August 9.

Gay rights activists believe that the aim of protecting youth is just a smokescreen for banning all public events featuring homosexuals and other members of sexual orientation and have vowed to take the fight against the gay propaganda bans to the European Court of Human Rights.

Russia recently recently vetoed a statement of the G8 foreign ministers at the summit in Chicago concerning protections for sexual minorities.

 

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