An organization of St. Petersburg gay rights activists has filed a complaint against the city’s authorities with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, local media reported on Saturday.
The Ravnopravie (‘Equality’) organization has appealed to the Strasbourg court to rule against the city’s ban of a gay pride parade in June 2011 and described the authorities’ actions as “disguised discrimination.”
Despite the ban, a small group of gay rights activists staged an unsanctioned rally on June 25, 2011 and 14 of them were detained and convicted of administrative violations.
The Ravnopravie organization also intends to appeal against the authorities’ decision to revoke their permission to hold a gay pride rally planned for July 7, 2012.
“The authorities violated the Russian law, which is proved by common sense and consultations with lawyers, who are ready to help us,” said St. Petersburg gay rights activist Yury Gavrikov.
St. Petersburg’s Legislative Assembly passed a law penalizing "the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors” in late February. It came into effect on March 11.
The so-called Gay Propaganda law imposes fines of up to $16,000 on individuals and up to $160,000 on legal entities for the promotion of homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender practices among minors. The new legislation outlaws Gay Pride events.
The law has caused a divided reaction among Russians, where anti-gay sentiment remains strong. Russian LGBT groups have requested support in the West against the law that made the "promotion of homosexuality" an administrative offense.