■ Gay Pride parades in Moscow have been
banned. But the St. Patrick's Day Parade down
Novyi Arbat Street,
complete with nudity, is permitted.
photo courtesy GayRussia.ru
MOSCOW, March 20, 2008 (GayRussia.ru)
– Three of Europe’s leading mayors, two of them openly gay, have been
invited to attend this year’s Moscow Pride, organisers said this morning,
days after a controversial St. Patrick’s Day Parade which included nudity.
Bertrand Delanoë (Paris),
(London) and Klaus Wowereit (Berlin) have all been invited to the Gay Pride
and associated conference being held in the Russian capital on May 30 and
letter to the three Mayors,
Nikolai Baev and
Nikolai Alekseev point out that in Russia gay men and women face enormous
difficulties in publicly expressing themselves.
“You always support the fundamental
right of homosexual people to openly manifest and to publicly express
themselves,” they say in their letter to the city halls.
“All of you also regularly take
part in Gay Pride parades in your own cities.”
They go on to say that the
constitutional right to freedom of assembly has been violated in the
previous two years when Gay Pride Parades have been scheduled, only to be
banned by Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.
“Taking into account the bans of
the public Pride events in the Russian capital in 2006 and 2007, we are not
sure that Mayor Luzhkov will permit Gay Pride manifestation this year,” they
“Please take part in our conference
and rally,” the organisers ask.
Politicians from across Europe are
again expected at the third Moscow Gay Pride. But the organising committee
consider that the attendance of the three prominent mayors would have a
great symbolic influence.
Prior to banning last year’s march,
Mayor Luzhkov described Gay Pride as “a satanic gathering”. However, he
allowed a St. Patrick’s Day Parade last Sunday, even closing
Novyi Arbat street in central
Moscow for half a day.
There were scenes of indecency
during the annual Moscow St. Patrick’s Day Parade as a handful of males
showed watching Muscovites exactly was the Irish wear – or don’t wear, to be
more accurate – under their kilts.
“Who will talk after that about
religious feelings, morality, breaches of others rights,” Mr. Alekseev told
UK Gay News.
And writing a commentary on the Gay
Russia.ru website, Mr Alekseev observed: “Anything similar cannot be seen
even during Gay Parades in the most liberal democratic countries. At least
I was on many similar measures and nowhere it saw such frank nudity.
the discussion turns to the human rights procession in the support of
the rights ofgay men and
women, where the people want to
express their civic stand and to require the observance of their rights, the
mayor immediately talks
about the morals, about the insult of religious feelings of citizens, about
anything, as he denies
permission under any pretext.”
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Licence.
Posted: 20 March 2008 at
08:30 (UK time)