News24

Global gay rights leaders in Moscow

2011-05-28 10:48

Moscow - Gay rights activists from Russia and Europe as well the US planned on Saturday to stage an unprecedented rally near the Kremlin despite a police vow to arrest anyone who shows up.

Moscow - whose former mayor once likened gays to the devil - has banned gay pride parades for six years running, citing public discomfort with behaviour that was considered illegal in Soviet times.

"The mayor is defending himself by pointing to public outrage and requests for another rally by opponents of sexual perversion on the same day," said Moscow gay rights leader Nikolai Alexeyev.

The European Court of Human Rights has already required Russia to pay Alexeyev damages for banning earlier marches and Amnesty International called on Moscow authorities on Thursday to change their mind.

Some 120 Russian activists were arrested during their first attempt to stage a Moscow parade in 2006, and city authorities warned those who show up at the Kremlin wall to expect no leniency.

"Their illegal and provocative actions will be immediately stopped in strict accordance with existing law," a Moscow police spokesperson told the RIA Novosti news agency.

The spokesperson said officers would be out on the streets in large numbers because the rally coincided with a national holiday commemorating Russia's border guards - an occasion that has seen drunken violence in the past.

The activists planned to lay a wreath at the Kremlin's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 09:00 GMT before gathering outside the Moscow mayor's office a few blocks down the street.

"Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are universal," said renowned London human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

Tatchell was briefly detained while attending an unsanctioned Moscow event in 2007. But his fellow international marchers said their arrest would only prove a point about the state of freedoms in Russia.

"Our methods are nonviolent," said US gay rights activist Dan Choi. "My hope is that this will be the last (gay) pride (parade) prohibited by this country."

Comments
  • Pigscanfly - 2011-05-28 12:22

    And they are speaking to Vladimir Kutchourkokoff

  • SaintBruce - 2011-05-28 16:39

    A right has to be earned. How do you earn a right by abusing your body? Where the correct use of a thing is not known , abuse is inevitable. The practice of homosexuality goes contrary to the design of the human body. While anyone may practice what they wish, how can abnormal behaviour be termed a 'right' ? In other words, keep what goes on in the bedroom , in the bedroom. There is no need to openly flaunt something that many find offensive. Offensive behaviour is a violation of the rights of others. All these 'protests, marches, gay pride rallies' do is to shove their brand of 'rights' into other peoples faces in an offensive way and then they wonder why there is resistance! Isn't there a better way to foster tolerance from others?

      CTScientist - 2011-05-28 16:55

      "The practice of homosexuality goes contrary to the design of the human body." Care to elaborate on this particular brand of nonsense?

      SaintBruce - 2011-05-28 17:48

      CT Scientist - go study anatomy and reproduction! If you cannot figure out the way a male and female body is designed for sexuality, then I can't be bothered to debate you.

      BrixtonBriefcase - 2011-05-28 19:58

      You sound just like the type who kept apartheid afloat. A scared, insecure middle aged white male who couldn't be bothered by such "nonsense as rights" because it's not YOUR nonsense. Just remember - somewhere in the world, someone most probably finds YOUR behavior offensive. Would you be happy to be treated as a second class citizen because of it?

      JesusChrist - 2011-05-28 22:17

      @SaintBruce. "A right has to be earned." What a load of shit! Pray tell how would one go about "earning" a right e.g. the right to life?

      CTScientist - 2011-05-29 10:20

      @ SaintBruce The reproductive organs are designed for exactly that - reproduction. If you want to cite the so called 'abnormal behaviour' of social sexual engagement, then NO humans should be allowed to do it. That would mean that sex should ONLY ever result if two people are trying to create a child. Of course, thanks to advancement in science, that outdated view is no longer valid. There are a variety of ways to acquire a child that does not require your outdated and 'classical' vision of sexual reproduction. In addition... the human body wasn't designed to fly. Want to get pilots kicked out of the air while you're on this doomed crusade? The biological is not the social. And the social is not the biological. The two work in tandem, with neither hegemonic. Your attempt to raise one to a platform is naive and ignores the complexities of human life. Add technology into the equation and the sky is the limit. There is a lot that goes contrary to the design of the human body - but you pointed out one special aspect. Sexuality. Every single person is allowed to explore that sexuality in any way they so desire. That IS what their bodies were designed for - a life to use these bodies as they see fit. Not as you or any others see fit.

  • yojimbo - 2011-05-28 18:24

    Police is actually protecting this fools from being abused or worse lynched by onlookers. They will get a minor public disorder fine and walk free the same day unharmed. This is the country with millennium of strong christian homophobic tradition. There at least a dozen of working Orthodox churches within a mile. They can tolerate and do tolerate gays as long as they keep their business private. There is a plenty of networking and private gay clubs etc. Key word is private. But it is certainly looked down and outright despised by general public. All demonstrations are permitted by constitution but must get a local authority permit on closure of streets, policing, doctors etc. This activists do not want low key easy to protect them public areas for the gatherings and insist on top spots for sake of cheap publicity. Council do not want a public unrest caused by miniscule minority and rather ban the show.If this arrogant people insist on demonstrating next to the Tomb of Unknown Soldier by Kremlin Wall it taken as an insult to the memory of millions dead. It is like to have a marsh of drunks through the Mecca or hookers through the Vatican. About sorting the problem at the root: you can take horse to the water, but you never can force horse to drink the water. Nobody earn love and appreciation by creating insults and enforcement.

      BrixtonBriefcase - 2011-05-28 20:02

      And whilst you're worshiping your idols and ringing bells and whistles and burning incense in a fantasy world, gay people are being executed in various countries for being true to their DNA. Get current and catch a wake up moron and - and perhaps a comprehension of the English language whilst you're at it.

  • burtfred - 2011-05-29 10:42

    Gays are no different from the rest of humanity, they are part of our social rainbow. Just as we should not have laws that refer to race, we should not have laws that refer to sexual orientation. I am not "gay" but I respect other peoples rights to love and have consenting sexual relations with whoever they want to, regardless of what they look like, how old they are, what language they speak, what gender they are, whether they are blind, deaf, or green. So Saint Bruce, I totally disagree with your stupid selfish notion that homosexuality is somehow sinful and contrary to human rights. If Gays want to have a march, let them. I would even march, in all my heterosexual splendour, with them to help defend their human rights. After all, is it not very provocative and agains human rights for governments to have military displays, where they show off their killing equipment?

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