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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:

Mayors_2"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.

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Comments

  1. Brilliant idea! I hope the mayors agree.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 20, 2008 10:53:02 AM


  2. They also contrast Luzhkov's ban on Gay Pride to his support for a St. Patrick's Day parade, which featured more nudity than many a gay pride (NSFW):

    http://www.gayrussia.ru/events/detail.php?ID=11137

    Posted by: kevinvt | Mar 20, 2008 11:07:56 AM


  3. Gay men and lesbians in European countries would do a world of good by traveling to Russia to support Moscow's pride event.

    Can you imagine the impact of Europride, Amsterdam, Berlin, and other major pride events were canceled for one year and combined into a Moscow event? (Compare the impact of a huge Moscow event vs. the usual Amsterdam event.)

    The economic impact alone would be obvious to Russian business owners. Grab them by their pocketbooks and their hearts and minds will follow.

    Posted by: Rik | Mar 20, 2008 3:49:37 PM


  4. Russia's not safe for any minority. Period.

    That goes for religious, ethnic, or sexual minorities alike.

    Russia (not Germany or the United States) has the largest and most violent neo-Nazi movement in the world. Even non-white diplomats don't feel safe walking the streets of Moscow at night nowadays.

    Posted by: John | Mar 20, 2008 4:36:05 PM


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