Russian Lawmakers Ban Moscow Gay Pride for 100 Years
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 century, RT.com reported.
Like the Sleeping Beauty, Russian citizens will have to hibernate for 100 years, because they won’t be seeing any gay pride events -- no legal ones, at any rate -- until the year 2112.
The decision comes after leading gay activist Nikolay Alekseev said he found a loophole in Russia’s legislation and sent a request for gay pride parades to be held for the next 100 years to the Moscow Mayor’s office, Gay Star News points out.
The Moscow City Court refused Alekseeve’s request and instead banned the celebration for the next 100 years.
"We wanted to see the reaction so we could show the European Court of Human Rights that it’s not just past events which are banned illegally but also the future events," he told Gay Star News. "It was a way for us to show the absurdity of the system for gaining permission for public events."
The ruling also upset a number of other gay rights groups, including Andre Banks, the executive director of human rights group AllOut.org.
"This ruling reminds us that Pride is every bit as meaningful today as it was after Stonewall in 1969 -- millions around the world are still fighting for the basic right to live openly and love who they choose," Banks said in a statement. "Much like that memorable summer, this fight will continue and it will be successful."
Human Right’s First’s Innokenty Grekov called the court’s decision not surprising but regrettable.
"This unprecedented ban is not entirely surprising, but Russia’s society is evolving at a pace not even Vladimir Putin can control," Grekov said. "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."
Alekseev says he plans to appeal the ruling.
In May, Moscow police arrested 40 people after gay activists tried to stage two demonstrations in the city to demand the right to hold a gay pride parade, the Associated Press reported. The people detained were made up of gay activists and those who oppose gay pride events.
Russia does not recognize marriage equality and many of the country’s regions have passed an anti-gay law that can fine individuals for publicly supporting gay rights.
The St. Petersburg legislative assembly passed the "homosexual propaganda" law in March. Russian citizens can be fined up to $16,000 for the "promotion of homosexuality" and "pedophilia among minors." A similar law was passed in the country’s southern region of Astrakhan and Ryazan and Kostroma, which are located in Russia’s central region.
The law says "homosexual propaganda" is "the targeted and uncontrolled dissemination of generally accessible information capable of harming the health and moral and spiritual development of minors," that could create "a distorted impression" of "marital relations."
The law wasn’t put into effect until April, when two Russian men became the first to be arrested under the controversial law. A month later, 17 gay rights activists were also detained for breaking the law after they participated in a May Day celebration in St. Petersburg.