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No Gay Pride in Moscow

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday May 15, 2013

It looks like there will be no gay pride parade for LGBT rights activists and supporters to march in in Moscow this year, as the city's government officials refuse to authorize the event, saying "From our point of view, there is no need for such events in the city," the Moscow Times reports.

Alexei Mayorov, the head of City Hall's security department and Moscow's point man on approving rallies, said activists would officially be notified about the rejection on Wednesday.

It should come as no surprise that the Pride parade has been called off as officials have rejected every pride parade since it was first requested in 2006. Last June, the Moscow City Court upheld the decision of a lower court's ruling to ban gay pride parades in Russia's capital for the next 100 years.

In spite of this, LGBT activists still plan on holding an event on May 25.

Russia does not have the best record when it comes to LGBT issues. Parts of the country, including St. Petersburg, have been sharply criticized for its controversial "homosexual propaganda" law, which fines individuals up to $17,000 for "promoting homosexuality and "pedophilia" among minors. After a challenge in October of 2012, Russia's Supreme Court upheld the law but was specific in the way it could be applied. The ruling states the law can only be enforced against direct appeals to minors to engage in homosexuality. This means, gay pride events and LGBT rights rallies are legal.

Though there have been conflicting rulings, activists still face the threat of being punished. In 2012, 17 activists were arrested for marching as a gay contingent in St. Petersburg's May Day parade. None of the 100 LGBT activists who marched in 2013's May Day Parade were detained.

In a move to capitalize on Moscow's proactive century long Pride ban, organizers of Stockholm Pride have launched a Twitter campaign in the hopes of courting LGBT Russians and supporters to take part in their event. As the Drum reports, J├Ârgen Eriksson, director of The Stockholm Pride Festival said, "To celebrate that love, regardless of sexual orientation, ethnicity and gender identity is a democratic right, we have taken this opportunity to, with humour and love, direct a special invitation to all of Russia to celebrate Pride with us."


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