MOTHER RUSSIA

Gay Film Festival Kicks Off In Moscow Smoothly. But Will May’s Pride Parade Be Shut Down Again?

Moscow has two major LGBT events in the coming months: a gay film festival this week, and then a Pride parade march planned for May 27.

Past gay pride events in Moscow have seen intense pushback from local authorities. The Russia Times reports that last year’s “gay pride effort was dispersed by police in Moscow” with 60 people detained, while violent arrests have happened repeatedly in years before that.

The gay film festival should go off without a hitch, though.

“On the eve of 2007 fest, the emergencies service closed down the venue we rented,” the organizer told RT. “But we managed to create a major base of support of the festival, and in 2009 it finally took place. Last year was one of our most successful.”

Here’s to hoping the recently enacted gay ban in St. Petersburg, the most populous city in Russia after Moscow, doesn’t cast a specter upon this year’s gay-pride festivities. Unfortunately, the nation’s parliament is looking to St. Petersburg’s ban as a precedent for a national implementation of the law.