2010: Second Slavic Gay Pride in Minsk (Belarus) on May 15
On the eve of the pride, organizers hosted a premiere of the movie "Beyond Gay, the Politcs of Pride". The event which took place in Minsk top hotel was attacked by a group of hooligans. Surprisingly, the police came and helped to secure the participants to enter and later exit the building. The hotel staff of was very helpful and did not attempt to cancel the event even though there was later a bombing alert and the conference room had to be changed in the middle of the screening.
A Press Conference was organized a day before the Pride at the Belarusian Helsinki Committee in Minsk. The same evening, organizers held a seminar to inform participants on how to act in case they are arrested during the Pride. The Pride itself was banned by the City Executive Committee.
The march was very short and lasted not more than 15 minutes. A dozen of participants were arrested and 4 of them were kept 48h in detention until they were released by a Court after being fine by a judge. Despite the short duration and the brutal arrests, the Slavic Pride in Minsk was considered a success by local organizers. It generated an important local media coverage.
The preparation as well as the March itself is the focus of the Australian-Russian Film "East Bloc Love", co-produced by GayRussia and made by Film Director Logan Mucha.
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In 1993, President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree which repealed the law forbidding male homosexuality.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.