Breaking: Moscow Gay Pride Officially Banned

Russian Government Marks IDAHO by Announcing Moscow Pride Is Banned but activists vow to go ahead anyway

Breaking: Moscow Gay Pride Officially Banned

With timing best described as “impeccable”, Moscow City Hall announced this morning that Moscow Gay Pride on May 28 is banned. Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

The reasons given by the deputy mayor of Moscow, Ludmila Shvetsova, is because of “the impossibility to provide security” – and a high number of letters of protests received by the City Hall against this event.

“The reasons for banning the Moscow Pride this year are exactly the same reasons used in the past years – and for which the European Court of Human Rights judged against Russia for violating the European Convention on Human Rights, Pride chief organiser Nikolai Alekseev.

 “Russia has decided to mark the Day Against Homophobia by showing, once again, its homophobic policy towards its LGBT citizens.

He revealed that an application would now be made directly to the Russian President.

“We will apply today to President Dmitri Medvedev for permission to hold our Gay Pride March next to Kremlin, an area which is solely within his jurisdiction.

“The ban does not change anything to our intention to hold our rally as planned,” he insisted, adding that if anything untoward happens on May 28 the responsibility will lie with the “the illegal and irresponsible decision” taken at Moscow City Hall.

“Today, we realised that former homophobic Mayor Luzhkov has a successor at the City Hall,” Mr. Alekseev added.

The Gay Pride rally was scheduled to be held  in Bolotnaya Square, in front of the Office of the European Commission.



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May 27

Russia decriminalized male homosexuality

In 1993, President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree which repealed the law forbidding male homosexuality.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.

May 17

Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

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.

May 15

Slavic Gay Pride in Minsk

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.

May 12

Lesbian same-sex couple attempt to register marriage in Moscow

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.

April 11

Victory for Russian LGBT activists at 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.