Six Campaigns launched since 2005
Since 2005, Project GayRussia has launched six major campaigns for the rights of LGBT people in Russia:
All of these campaigns have focused on basic and essential rights, and most have required extensive judicial work aimed at positively changing the current legislation. They have also be the support of multiple court cases lodged with the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee.
While lobbying the Duma or the Kremlin has proven useless in the current political environment widely influenced by religious groups, we have found that seeking recourse in the International Courts, which Russia recognizes in its jurisprudence, is the only effective solution in forcing the current authorities to gradually change their attitudes and begin to recognize our rights.
While our flagship campaign began in 2005 with the right to freedom of assembly over that year’s banned Moscow Pride, freedom of speech, freedom to register an organization, the right to help others by donating blood, protections against hate speech, and equal rights to family life are all fundamental rights that LGBT people should be entitled to enjoy.
TODAY IN HISTORY
In 1993, President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree which repealed the law forbidding male homosexuality. Starting from 2006, Russian gay rights activists started to celebrate this date by attempting to organize an annual gay rights march known as Moscow Gay Pride. The first edition was banned and marred with violence. It was reffered as the first Russian Stonewall.
This day was founded in 2004 by French Academic Louis-Georges Tin to mark the anniversary of the declassification of homosexuality from the list of disease by the World Health Organization. Russian LGBT have been celebrating this day every year since 2005 under the leadership of Project GayRussia which was itself founded on May 17, 2005. GayRussia is Russia's coordinator of IDAHO.
Following Moscow in May 2009, Minsk was the second capital to host the Slavic Gay Pride. The March was banned and marred with violence but it did not prevent two dozens of Pride organizers from Moscow, Minsk and St. Petersburg to march over 300 meters waiving a 10meters long rainbow flag. 11 participants including some of the organizers were brutally arrested by police forces.
2009 marked the launch of GayRussia's campaign for the opening of same-sex union of gays and lesbians in Russia. While the Constitutional Court already expressd the opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman, activists believe that the lack of partnership or marriage for gay couples is a strong point to impose legislative changes via a decision of the European Court of Human Rights.
The five-judge panel of the Grand Chamber of the Court rejected the appeal of the Russian Federation in the Moscow Pride Ban case. The decision given on October 21 is final. By repeatedly banning Gay Pride Marches as well as other LGBT themed public action, Russia breached the European Convention on Human Rights.