A week doesn’t go by without Human Mr. Potatohead Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov doing something to make old Muscovy an even more unpleasant place for gays and lesbians. It’s not enough to blight the city with cheezy neohistorical condo developments that would make Stalin blush with pride or require anyone who’s so foolish as to spend more than 90 days in the city to register with the police. Like all failed leaders in need of salvation, Luzhkov’s got to blame his failures on (all together now) the gays.
Luzhkov has banned gay pride celebrations (they happened anyway, however briefly), justified his decision by saying that gays and lesbians are a public health threat that carries AIDS and now he said that when the Eurovision Song Contest comes to town next year, gays and lesbians can perform on stage, but they had better not assemble, protest, march or do anything that might at all resemble free speech. UK Gay News reports:
“The Mayor warned gays to go no further than entertainment.
He was speaking at a press conference following the handing over of symbolic keys to Eurovision officials.
“The law of 1993 does not prosecute sexual minorities, they are free,’ Mayor Luzhkov said.
“We do not allow gay parades. When we talk about inclinations of sexual minorities, it’s ok – grasp your interests as you like.”
Mayor Luzhkov, who banned human rights marches of gay prides in Russia’s capital for three years and is considered one of the most homophobic politicians in Russia, said that the Moscow authorities will continue to ban public actions of sexual minorities.
“Entertain yourself, no problem, but not on the streets, squares, marches and demonstrations,” he stressed.
“We never introduced any limitations on them, except public actions.”
Organiser of Moscow Gay Pride Nikolai Alekseev reacted immediately to the words of Moscow Mayor, confirming that Gay Pride will go ahead during the Eurovision contest.
“We are not going to surrender our right to freedom of assembly and expression because it is given to us not by Mayor Luzhkov but by the Constitution on this country.”
Did we learn nothing from Footloose, people?