European Mayors Asked to Attend Moscow Gay Pride
Moscow Gay Pride organizer Nikolai Alexeyev has asked London mayor Ken Livingstone (pictured, second from right) and openly gay mayors Bertrand Delanoe of Paris (far left), and Klaus Wowereit (far right) of Berlin to attend Moscow's Gay Pride observance, which has been scheduled for May 30 and 31, UK Gay News reports:
"In a 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 point out. 'Please take part in our conference and rally,' the organisers ask."
Last year's Gay Pride parade turned bloody and violent. British activist Peter Tatchell and Right Said Fred singer Richard Fairbrass were assaulted on camera. Tatchell and Fairbrass were both then arrested, along with Italian MEP Marco Cappato, German MP Volker Beck, the leader of GayRussia, Nikolai Alexeyev, and dozens of other activists.
The photo of the three mayors above, with Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, was taken at a mayoral summit in London in February 2007.