Monday, 21 May 2007

Russia's Pride Parade Cancelled Again

The activists behind the annual gay pride parade in St Petersburg, Russia are constantly fighting an uphill battle. City Hall has refused to give permission for the event to be held on May 26 due to an already tight schedule of events in the city on that day. Yeah right.

The organising committee is still pushing ahead however, saying that they’ll simply re-apply for another date and they’ll still have an informal get together in a public place on that day anyway.

“Misconceptions about sexual minorities are widespread here,” a spokesperson from the committee told the St. Petersburg Times. “Gay people feel they need to show they are normal human beings. Their sexual orientation does not make them monsters.”

In a poll taken earlier this year 90% of the 3,500 gay and lesbian respondents said that they’d experienced verbal or physical homophobia at one point.
“When attacked for homophobic reasons, gay people rarely get any police assistance,” said Igor Petrov, coordinator of the Russian gay and lesbian network.

The list of people against the pride parade goes on and on – and these smaller factions are all grouping together to formulate a response, sending a letter to City Hall urging that the parade be banned.

“This city survived 900 days of the Siege of Leningrad and paid millions of lives for the victory in the Second World War; it would be a tremendous blasphemy to let a bunch of perverts march along its streets,” the letter says.

A poll recently published found that over 80% of respondents were against gays and lesbians being allowed to demonstrate in groups in Russia. One political columnist said that he cannot understand why people felt the need to advertise what they do in the bedroom.


No comments: