Flip flop

This town approved a pride festival — then called it off because children might see it

The Russian town of Strezhevoy agreed to hold a gay pride parade, then withdrew the invitation days later out of concern that children might see the event, The Independent reports.

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On July 12, gay rights activist Nikolay Alexeev posted a letter from town officials approving the march to the social media website VK. “The authorities of the city of Strezhevoy in the Tomsk region have just agreed to hold a gay parade march!” he wrote in Russian. “The action will take place on July 24! Strezhevoy may become the first city in Russia where the gay parade procession will take place with the approval of the authorities.”

Two days later, however, Alexeev posted another update to VK, revealing that officials were withdrawing permission for the parade on account of a law to protect “children from information that may harm their health or development” and out of concern that the event could be perceived as LGBT+ propaganda and could be unsafe for participants.

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Alexeev, hoping to organize Russia’s first gay pride event, had sent 378 requests to cities across the country, he said. He was also behind a Russian pride event that was canceled 24 hours after it was announced last year. Now he’s planning on submitting the official refusals he has received to the European Court of Human Rights, according to The Independent.