Connect to share and comment

Moscow bans gay pride events for 100 years

And it's not the first time.

Gay pride in russiaEnlarge
Members of the Russian gay community and gay rights activists from Europe hold flags during a banned gay rally in Moscow on May 29, 2008. Gay pride parades are routinely prohibited by city authorities. The parades often end with arrests. (Andrey Smirnov/AFP/Getty Images)

Moscow's Tverskoy District Court has for the second time banned gay rights events from the city until 2112.

The government justified the ruling by stating LGBT parades would disrupt the peace, according to The Journal.

Russian activist Nikolai Alekseyev, a leader of Russia's gay rights community, filed an appeal against the initial ruling in June, asking the court to sanction gay pride parades.

In spite of the court reaffirming its anti-gay stance, Alekseyev remained confident:

“In the nearest future we will contest the authorities’ actions over the 100-year ban on gay pride events in the European Court of Human Rights. Through this we will eventually achieve that the bans are recognized as unlawful, not only for the past, but for the future gay parades in the Russian capital,” Alekseyev told Interfax.

Human Rights First Program Associate Innokenty Grekov, while condemning the verdict, also professed an optimistic view:

“This unprecedented ban is not entirely surprising, but Russia’s society is evolving at a pace not even Vladimir Putin can control.  More people are becoming accepting and tolerant to LGBTI persons. The 100-year ban, along with the discriminatory laws prohibiting 'promotion of homosexuality' that are spreading through local legislatures, show that the Russian government remains behind the times.”

“It is regrettable that the new city government, led by Mayor Sobyanin, is repeating the mistakes of the disgruntled former mayor Luzhkov, whose vehemently antigay rhetoric and actions are well-known.”

Alekseyev and the gay rights community will continue to seek justice within Russia's judicial system, but they are also taking alternative paths.

For example, they won a significant victory in the European Court of Human Rights.

The court called Russia's previous banson gay pride events illegal in Oct. 2010, determining city officials had discriminated against residents because of their sexual orientation.

This coming Sept., Europe's human rights monitor group, the Council of Europe, will investigate Russia's judicial actions on gay rights issues.

But while some incremental progress has been made, some Russian cities have passed explicitly anti-LGBT legislation. For example, St. Petersburg authorities recently criminalized the "promotion of homosexuality," Russia Today reported.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/120817/moscow-bans-gay-pride-events-100-years