Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
  In Rainbows

Can’t Nobody Hold Down Russia’s Gay Pride

russiapride1

Despite the threat of imprisonment as vowed by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, Russia’s gays are planning on holding their gay pride parade on Saturday to coincide with the global phenomenon Eurovision Song Contest, intimidation be damned. Luzhkov once again refused to grant a permit to organizers Nikolay Bayev and Irina Fet, who were arrested already for “popularizing homosexuality among minors” after they held a public demonstration. And the courts sided with the mayor. But the show must go on.

In a country where esteemed officials declare the United States will crumble within the next two years because of all our gays, it’s no surprise anti-gay voices are popular and accepted. While the gays try for their parade, opponents are ramping up their own effort. Spiegel: “Around a dozen people have gathered in the afternoon on Moscow’s Pushkin Square: men and women aged between 30 and 50, well-groomed middle class Russians. But they are here to preach hate against those who are different. “Moscow is not Sodom,” reads one banner. ‘Sign the petition against the freaks’ parade.’ … The protesters’ flyer shows garishly made-up transvestites juxtaposed with an image from the Beslan school hostage crisis. … ‘Homosexuality is the same as terrorism,’ asserts one of the Pushkin Square activists. He and his colleagues call themselves the Orthodox Front. They tell interested passersby that the gay parade is a provocation against the government and promotes homosexuality. Many people are happy to sign the petition.” (Pictured, below)

russiapride2

Is this par for the course?

Violence and discrimination are part of everyday life for homosexuals in Russia. Gay clubs are regularly attacked by hooligans, while openly gay people are excluded from events or ejected from polling stations. Participants in previous gay parades have been fired from their jobs, without notice and without any explanation, after their employers recognized them on television. At the beginning of October 2008, authorities in St. Petersburg sabotaged a cultural anf film festival which had been organized by gays and lesbians. When the event was about to begin, militia and firefighters moved in and closed the venues, supposedly because of potential fire hazards.

Theoretically, the Russian constitution prohibits such discrimination. Theoretically, Russia, as a member of the Council of Europe, has to guarantee the freedom of expression and assembly. But the reality is very different. Dubious groups like the Orthodox Front are free to promote hate in public, but gays and lesbians have to hide.

[...] According to a survey last year by the independent public opinion research institute Levada Center, 80 percent of Russians consider homosexuality to be immoral. A Moscow radio station reached a similar conclusion a few days ago: Four out of five callers felt that the city administration had the right to ban a gay demo, announced a presenter cheerfully before playing back calls. “We are an orthodox country,” said one woman. “Why don’t they go to Amsterdam?” another asked. A third caller said that actually he had nothing against gays, but was it strictly necessarily for them to show their sexuality in public?

Homosexuality was taboo during the Soviet era, and has remained so in almost all countries of the former USSR. Same-sex relations were against the law in Russia up until 1993. Since 2002 a group of parliamentarians has been fighting to get homosexuality criminalized once again.

By:           editor editor
On:           May 12, 2009
Tagged: , , ,

  • 5 Comments
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      There’s going to be a showdown on Saturday.

      Thousands of gays from all over Western Europe fly in to Moscow for the show. Will they join in the gay parade?

      What happens if they are all clubbed and beaten by Putin’s thugs?

      Will there be international protests?

      Will the BBC’s anchor man, our beloved gay, Graham Norton, protest live on TV?

      Will the event be cancelled in protest, thus embarrassing the fuck out of Putin’s dictatorship?

      Peter Tatchell will be flying in.

      May 12, 2009 at 10:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Here is some interesting background reading from Der Spiegel

      http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,624286,00.html

      May 12, 2009 at 11:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean
      Sean

      Nothing will happen to protestors on Saturday, when the eyes of Europe (and fans all over the world) are on Moscow. It’s Sunday we should worry about, when the Eurovision gays go home (sidetrack: this year’s Hungarian entry = gayest song ever) and it returns to “business as usual” in Moscow.

      Raise a stink on Saturday and the ire is directed right at Putin, Russia is banned from Eurovision and becomes even more of an outcast. Raise a stink on Sunday and who would know, besides those of us with an active interest in LGBT issues in Russia?

      May 12, 2009 at 12:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sarise
      Sarise

      The gays and lesbians who endanger their lives to fight for their rights, I have the utmost respect for. How ironic that in the country where ballet is most famous, homosexuality is seen as “satanic”.

      May 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dgz
      dgz

      @Sean:
      then i hope the gays incite something. getting Russia banned from Eurovision would serve them right. after all, if the LGBTs are already being called “terrorists,” they might as well live up to it. Paint red square pink and then run like hell.

      May 13, 2009 at 5:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • POPULAR ON QUEERTY

    FOLLOW US
     



    GET QUEERTY'S DAILY NEWSLETTER


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    !-- Sailthru Horizon -->
    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.