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Moscow Pride? High court affirms: Not in a hundred years!


A high court in Russia has ruled against LGBTactivists in Moscow sought to have that city’s legislative ban on anything that could be construed as propaganda promoting homosexuality to minors overturned. For the moment, it appears the next Moscow Pride event won’t be possible until 2112.
Nikolai Alekseyev is a gay RussianLGBT-rights activist, who was arrested along American LGBT-equality activist and San Diegan, Lt. Dan Choi at 2011′s Moscow Pride event. It was an event that was as fleeting in duration as the wait for the next Moscow Pride may be long. As LGBT Weekly previously reported, last year’s festivities were cut short when ultra-orthodox religious protesters and police moved in only minutes after the event was declared open for business.
The Interfax news agency quoted Alekseyev as saying after the Moscow City Court of Appeals decision, “We will appeal against the actions taken by the Russian authorities, which have banned gay pride pirades in Moscow for the next 100 years, in the European Court of Human Rights in the nearest future.”


(Photos of Moscow's Gay Pride March, 2007.) Lead singer of Right Said Fred

Gay activists in three U.S. cities will mobilize for vigils on May 16 and 17 for IDAHO, International Day Against Homophobia, and the focus will be to apply pressure on the Russian government to grant all necessary permits to the organizers of Moscow's third gay pride parade, scheduled for late May.

Last year, despite the mayor of Moscow refusing to grant permits to parade, gay marchers from around the world attempted to peaceably take to the streets for equality and tolerance, and were violently assaulted by ultra-nationalist thugs, sending some of the gays, covered in blood, to the hospital. Russian police stood by and did nothing to stop the attacks.

This year, before gay Russians again try to exercise their human rights protections, activists outside the country will send a message to the Kremlin, through vigils at consulates and at gay venues: We are watching how you treat your gay citizens.

Since IDAHO's inception four years ago, advocates in some parts of the world have expanded it to a either a week or month of activities. IDAHO takes place in most cities on May 17, to commemorate the day the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from a list of mental disorders.

For the Americans, IDAHO actions will occur on May 16 and 17. This is the list of U.S. cities standing in solidarity with gay Russians via IDAHO:
City: Chicago, IL
Date: Saturday, May 17
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Women and Children First Bookstore
Action: Rally in front of store, then a march
Address: 5233 N. Clark Street, cross street is Farragaut
Contact: Andy Thayer; lgbtliberation@aol.com
Web site: GayLiberation.net

City: New York, NY
Date: Friday, May 16
Time: 12 noon
Location: Russian Consulate
Action: Speak out
Address: 9 E. 91st Street, cross street is Fifth Avenue
Contact: Brendan Fey; brendan@stpatsforall.com

City: San Francisco, CA
Date: Friday, May 16
Time: 12 noon
Location: Russian Consulate
Action: Speak out
Address: 2790 Green Street, cross street is Baker
Contact: Michael Petrelis; mpetrelis@aol.com
Nicolai Alexeyev, Russia's brave gay rights organizer and leader, issued a plea for assistance and solidarity:

"Third Moscow Pride, which will celebrate 15th Anniversary since decriminalization of homosexual relations in Russia, is getting close. As was announced before, this year Moscow Pride will take place on 30-31 May with the public march planned for Saturday 31 May. Any of you who want to take part is very welcome in Moscow.

"Please let us know if any of you are willing to organise public events next to Russian embassies and consulates in your cities in solidarity with Moscow Pride trying to get third Moscow Pride permitted by the authorities. We will be grateful for your support!"

Andy Thayer of Chicago added, "Just because our city lacks a Russian consulate is no reason for us to not stage a vigil. Our speak out and solidarity action takes place in the heart of gay Chicago, and will have an impact. We encourage other activists to organize vigils at Russian consulates or embassies in their cities. And if there isn't one, hold a vigil at your community center or favorite bookstore or cafe."

The U.S. organizers ask that activists in additional cities who plan to demonstrate over IDAHO weekend for gay Russians and their petition for marching permits, to send information about their actions to mpetrelis@aol.com and add their city to list above.

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