It’s one thing when bigots and skinheads assault LGBT activists at Moscow Pride. It’s another when it’s pro-democracy advocates doing the attacking at protests across Russia.As GayStarNews reports, gays throughout the country are saying they’re being denied a voice—an in some cases facing violence—at rallies protesting election fraud and corruption in the former Soviet Union.
In St Petersburg Igor Kochetkov, chairperson of the Vyhod LGBT Organisation and the Russian LGBT-Network, was prevented by the opposition movement from speaking at the demonstration panel, according to reports by both Kochetkov via his Twitter account, confirmed by Nikolai Alekseev, chairman and founder of GayRussia and Moscow Pride.
Kochetkov was part of the St Petersburg’s organising committee of the demonstration and was due to give a speech when he was told minutes before attempting to go on stage that the opposition ‘is not supporting your movement and you won’t be allowed to speak.’
According to LGBT Asylum News, a man holding a rainbow flag at a pro-democracy protest in Novosibirsk was assaulted by members of the Russian Nationalist Party. “I think that if you sit very quietly and do nothing, then nothing will change,” the unnamed victim said.
And in Lipetsk, about 270 miles southeast of Moscow, a group holding a sign reading “gays and lesbians for fair elections” were blocked by authorities and told to “keep it for your gay parade later.”
Outspoken activist Peter Tatchell, who was attacked at the attempted 2007 Moscow Pride Parade, told GSN:
“The censorship and ejection of LGBT campaigners from the democracy demonstrations is shameful. It shows that many of the so-called democracy leaders are not committed to universal human rights. They are Putin-lite. They want to moderate the Kremlin regime, rather than change it. If they came to power, LGBT Russians would gain little.”
All this goes on, of course while more regions in the country pass legislation banning LGBT organizations, demonstrations and, in some cases, even discussion of the topic.
We guess “some of us are just a little more equal than others” works in Russian too.
Image via Max Trudo