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Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. Background: gay parade in San Francisco. Illustration by MosNews.Com
Gays To Sue “Homophobic” Moscow Mayor Luzhkov for Banning Gay Pride
Created: 30.07.2005 06:16 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 06:16 MSK, 30.07.2005
Moscow authorities will never allow a Gay Pride march to take place in Russia’s capital, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov announced on Friday. He noted, that no formal request to conduct such an event had been received by the City Hall so far, but when a request is duly filed, it will be rejected outright, “to protect the feelings of Muscovites, who would definitely oppose such an event”, in Luzhkov’s words.
“Moscow Mayor has once again revealed his true homophobic self”, ・reads GayRussia.Ru website’s comment to the Mayor’s promise.
The statement by Mayor Yuri Luzhkov came as a response to Thursday’s announcement by Russian gay and lesbian activists, that they will apply for a permit to hold pride celebrations in Moscow next May. If it is granted it would be the first pride parade ever held in the Russian capital. Speaking at a news conference, Nikolay Alekseyev, leader of the Gay Russia.Ru project, said the projected date is May 27, 2006 — the anniversary of the abolition of laws against homosexuality in 1993. Soviet laws deemed male homosexuality a criminal offence, punished by several years’ imprisonment.
Both Nikolay Alexeyev, and lesbian activist Evgeniya Debryanskaya, speaking at the same conference, said that in case of refusal to allow the march they will sue the Moscow Mayor in the European court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Russian gays attempted to hold a pride march in Moscow in 2001 in Moscow but officials refused to grant a permit saying it would be contrary to people's religious feelings, Lenta.Ru news agency reports. In 2005, though, gay pride event organizers scored a number of victories in several former communist satellite states. In Riga, capital of Latvia, the local court lifted a ban over Gay Pride celebrations, imposed by the city council in the beginning of July. In Warsaw more than 2500 gays took part in a march, despite municipal ban. “Such events had already taken place in Tallinn, Riga, Bucharest, Sofia and Bratislava”, ・Lenta.Ru quotes Nikolay Alexeyev as saying.
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Moscow Mayor: Nyet To Gay Pride
by Malcolm Thornberry 365Gay.com European Bureau Chief
Posted: July 29, 2005 7:30 pm ET
(Moscow) A day after Moscow LGBT rights groups announced they would seek permission to hold the first gay pride march in the Russian capital next year the city's mayor has told them not to bother.
Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said that if he receives an official request from the groups it will be turned down without discussion.
In an interview Friday with Russia's Interfax news agency Luzhkov said that he “stands on the protection of the interests of Moscovites and they would not support such an initiative."
Nikolay Alekseyev, leader of the Gay Russia.Ru project and Evgeniya Debryanskaya leader of a lesbian rights group said they are not deterred.
They say that if Luzhkov denies them a parade permit they'll go to court and are prepared to take the case all the way to the European Court in Strasbourg.
"Both legally and constitutionally Mayor Luzhkov can not deny to us only because we are gay," said Debryanskaya.
She said she expected that rather than use opposition to gays as the "official" reason for refusing the allow the parade, Luzhkov might invent an excuse. "Authorities will probably say that they have to change the surface on the road which will be supposed to be used by the gay pride [parade]," she said.
The two organizations announced plans on Thursday to hold the parade May 27, 2006 - the anniversary of the abolition of laws against homosexuality in 1993. (story)
Russian Gays Plan First Moscow Pride
by Malcolm Thornberry 365Gay.com European Bureau Chief
Posted: July 28, 2005 8:00 pm ET
(Moscow) A Russian LGBT rights group says it will apply for a permit to hold pride celebrations in Moscow next May. If it is granted it would be the first pride parade ever held in the Russian capital.
At a news conference, Nikolay Alekseyev, leader of the Gay Russia.Ru project, said the projected date is May 27 - the anniversary of the abolition of laws against homosexuality in 1993.
Russian gays attempted to hold a pride march in Moscow in 2001 in Moscow but officials refused to grant a permit saying it would be contrary to people’s religious feelings.
Moscow is the biggest city in Europe ever to have had a pride parade.
Alekseyev said his group would apply to the Moscow Mayor’s Office for a permit for next year's planned celebration.
He said that because the parade would be held on a Saturday he believed he would be successful in getting a permit.
The mayor's office has not indicated whether it will comply. Alekseyev said that if the permit was denied his group would go to the European court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Pride organizers had to battle local officials and protestors in several former communist satellite states this year.
In Latvia, a judge overruled a city decision not to allow a pride parade earlier this month in Riga, the capital. Police arrested a number of protesters during the first gay pride parade ever held in the city. (story)
In June, the mayor of Warsaw banned gay pride from the Polish capital city. Despite the edict more than 2,500 people marched anyway. (story)
Russian homosexuals hope to hold a gay parade in Moscow in defiance of people’s religious feelings
Moscow, July 28, Interfax - Sexual minorities in Russia intend to obtain a permission of the Moscow Mayor’s Office for the first gay parade to be held in the Russian capital city.
‘We plan to hand in an official request to the Moscow Mayor’s Office for holding the first ever gay parade on next May 27, the day when criminal responsibility for sexuality was abolished in Russia in 1993’, Nikolay Alekseyev, leader of the Gay Russia.Ru project, said at a press conference on Thursday in Moscow.
He asserts Moscow is one of few major cities in the world that has never had such marches.
‘Such parades are held throughout the world. In the post-socialist space, in particular, they took place in Tallinn, Riga, Bucharest, Sofia and Bratislava. Such a march was cancelled in 2001 in Moscow, because it is believed to run contrary to people’s religious feelings’, Alekseyev complained.