Sixth illegal Moscow Gay Pride will take place tomorrow

At a press conference held today at Ritz-Carlton, organizers said they will do the same actions than in 2006

Sixth illegal Moscow Gay Pride will take place tomorrow

Anna Komarova, Peter Tatchell, Nikolai Alekseev, Louis-Georges Tin, Nikolai Baev, Dan Choi, Andy Thayer. Photo Chad Meacham, Walk With Pride.

The Sixth Moscow Gay Pride will take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and in front of the Moscow City Hall.

The organizers unveiled their plans today at their annual press conference which was held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel just a foot steps from the Red Square and Kremlin.

"We decided that this year we will not organize a new cat and mouse game with the police and we only call on those who understand the consequences of a participation to these actions to show up" said the organizers.

First, participants will gather near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Garden near walls of Kremlin at 1pm. The second event is expected to take place in front of Moscow City Hall on Tverskaya street at 1.30pm. 

As stressed during the press conference by the head of the Organizing Committee of Moscow Pride, Nikolai Alekseev, this decision was logical as it is a repetition of the same plan that took place in May 2006 on the first attempt to hold a Pride.

"We do not intend to hide and run from the authorities in Moscow, so that they can once again expect to justify their tyranny by saying that gays and lesbians still held their march somewhere in secret" - he said. 

According to him, "The entire responsibility for security in this case will be on on Mayor Sergey Sobianin who banned a peaceful event in contradiction with the Russian constitution and the recent Court decision by the European Court of Human Rights". 

In this case, the Pride Organizing Committee is asking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to not come to these public actions if they do not realize the risk for their security. We warn people that during the two demonstrations, they might be detained or beaten. 

Decision of the Organizing Committee is symbolic: it is with these same two actions which were organized in May 2006. The two demonstrations were banned and harshly suppressed by the authorities and homophobes. 

"We understand that the gates to Alexandrovsky Garden Gate will be closed", - said Nikolai Alexeyev. - "But in this case, we will try to lay flowers around the fence." 

Head of the Organizing Committee of Moscow Pride said that by doing so gays and lesbians will give a tribute to those who have been fighting fascism and express protest against homophobic fascism, which is now rampant in Russia and in fact encouraged by the authorities.



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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.