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04/19/2007


Russia High Court Upholds Constitutionality of Ban on 'Gay Propaganda'

Alexeyev

Russia's highest court has ruled that the oppressive anti-homosexuality law, the ban on 'gay propaganda', is constitutional, RIA Novosti reports:

The Constitutional Court dismissed a complaint from Nikolai Alexeyev, a leading gay rights campaigner, that St. Petersburg city council had acted unconstitutionally by passing legislation to ban the promotion of homosexuality among minors...

The ruling regarded a May 2012 case in which Alexeyev had been fined for holding up a poster featuring a quote: “Homosexuality is not a perversion, unlike grass hockey or ice ballet.” The quote was made by Soviet-era actress Faina Ranevskaya.

Alexeyev had asked the court to rule that the law was based on prejudice and permitted discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. But the judges concluded that the Constitution obliged the State to protect motherhood, childhood and family.

Legislators therefore had a duty to “take measures to protect children from information, propaganda and campaigns that can harm their health and moral and spiritual development”. The court ruled that the law against gay propaganda was such a measure, arguing that the exercise of civil rights and freedoms could not be permitted at the cost of other people’s rights.

The court's ruling was made in late October but not released publicly until yesterday.

The Russian wire service adds:

In a separate case, a court in the northern city of Murmansk fined Alexeyev and fellow activist Yarosvlav Yevtushenko 4,000 rubles each on Tuesday. The GayRussia campaign website said that the two men had been convicted under the gay propaganda law for holding up banners outside a children’s library that read “gay propaganda doesn’t exist. People don’t become gay, people are born gay”.


Russian TV Journalist Blames Gays for the Chelyabinsk Meteor Strike Earlier This Year

A well-known Russian TV journalist is taking a page out of the Christian right-wing playbook of blaming natural phenomenon on the gays. RT.com reports:

MamontovIn a reference to the Old Testament story of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, famous journalist Arkady Mamontov said on his program that the fall of the Chelyabinsk meteorite on February 15 in Russia was related to the country's growing gay activity. Mamontov's program 'Special Correspondent' airs on state channel Rossiya 1.

The host called the meteorite a warning "to all of us that we should keep the family tradition, traditional love, or else something else - not only the Chelyabinsk meteorite - will hit us."

The Russian LGBT Network rights group filed a complaint with the prosecutor's office on Thursday. The group accused the show of hate speech, according to group chairman Igor Kochetkov. He said that Mamontov also claimed that gays and lesbians want to "destroy [traditional] Russia."

Mamontov has been on a bit of an anti-gay roll this past week, airing a documentary entitled "Litsedei" (Hypocrites) on Tuesday which detailed the alleged threat from Western countries that are trying to carry out a "gay revolution" in Russia by claiming that homosexuals are being oppressed.

As a result of the anti-gay vitriol, prominent Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alexeyev has submitted a request to Moscow authorities to gain permission to stage a protest against Mamontov's show. Knowing Putin's oppositional stance on public 'pro-gay' rallies, however, makes approval seem unlikely.  

[picture via RIA Novosti / Ruslan Krivobok] 


Russian Gay Activists Arrested for Protesting at Sochi Headquarters: VIDEO

Sochiprotest

Several LGBT activists was arrested today after protesting at the headquarters for the 2014 Sochi Games.

Among them was Nikolai Alexeyev, who has made headlines recently because of a very public twitter meltdown and his use of anti-Semitic slurs.

Americablog notes:

While the activists were quite brave in standing up to certain police arrest – pro-gay protests, or even speech, are illegal in Russia – it’s unfortunate that the protesters included in their group known anti-Semite, Nikolai Alexeyev, who refers to Jews as “kikes,” and recently claimed, in the middle of a weeklong anti-Semitic meltdown, that Jews make vodka from their own sperm.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Alexeyev tweeted from inside the police van earlier today.

Continue reading "Russian Gay Activists Arrested for Protesting at Sochi Headquarters: VIDEO" »


Russian Gay Rights Activist Nikolai Alexeyev Has Twitter Meltdown, Threatens Assassination

Alexeyev Tweet

A few weeks ago we told you about prominent Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev posting bizarre status updates on his Facebook account accusing friends of being pedophiles, lambasting gays who fled Russia, and equating the West with Putin's regime. Yesterday Out.com writer Michael Lucas composed an opinion piece accusing Alexeyev of being the Kremlin's "pocket gay," that is to say a mouthpiece the Kremlin can use to try to convince the populace that everything is fine because look, a gay man is saying so. Lewis draws the direct comparison to the "pocket Jews" of the Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Republic from the 70s and 80s and figures that it's the same thing happening all over again.

Then again, just yesterday we told you of Alexeyev being the victim of a raid by the Russian police on his home, and someone facing such retribution from the government itself could be coerced into subservience to spare themselves from worse punitive actions in the future.

Alexeyev, or at least whomever is in control of his social media accounts if the accusations of hacking and abduction are to be believed, saw Lucas' article and had a veritable meltdown on Twitter. He accused Lucas of slandering him, said he would now leave LGBT activism as a result, and, nonsensically, hire a hitman if Alexeyev's mother died because of the article. Alexeyev even sent Lucas an email that read [sic]:

You are just another Jewish debile who will answer to all!

While they cannot verify for certain that it is indeed Alexeyev writing them, Out.com has screenshots of Alexeyev's tweets.


Russia Raids Home of Leading Gay Activist Nikolai Alexeyev: VIDEO

Alexeyev

Russian police have raided the home of Nikolai Alexeyev, a leading gay activist who has lately been taking some polarizing positions regarding response from the West to Russia's anti-gay laws.

Watch the Reuters report on the raid on Alexeyev's home, AFTER THE JUMP...

AlexeyevAlexeyev, whose efforts in Russia have been well-documented on Towleroad, recently wrote a lengthy essay for RT (the Kremlin-owned news organization that has defended Russia's anti-gay law and last week kicked off gay reporter James Kirchik after he protested the law on-air). In the essay, Alexeyev criticizes Queer Nation for promoting the views of Russian LGBT activists and "celebrities" living abroad who Alexeyev claims are hypocritical:

In the United States one LGBT group, Queer Nation, even drafted a list of "33 prominent Russian LGBT activists" who support the idea of the Olympics boycott, even though a few signatories already said they were duped. This was clearly done to persuade the world that such a tactic is the best way forward and is supported by the Russian LGBT community. The authors of this letter forgot to explain that most people on their list are Russians living abroad, are absolutely unknown in the LGBT movement in Russia, and never organized any campaigns or public events in Russia itself. The list is headed by journalist Masha Gessen, an American citizen who, being also a Russian national, is threatening to leave Russia for several months and claiming that the Russian authorities are taking children from their homosexual parents, which of course has nothing to do with reality.

Where was she or any other of those "prominent Russian LGBT activists" in 2009, for example, when we launched the campaign against the law in the Ryazan Region banning propaganda of homosexuality to minors? Where have they been since 2006 when this law was for the first time implemented in Russia? I searched hard, but found they were silent. At that time they did not consider gay propaganda bans as a horrific legislation. One of those Russian LGBT "celebrities", Vyacheslav Revin, compared activists of GayRussia.Ru and Moscow Pride, Irina Fedotova and Nikolay Bayev (both, surprisingly still living in "Middle Ages" Russia) who went to protest in front of children’s libraries and schools in Ryazan in March 2009, as no different from pedophiles.

Alexeyev claims people purporting to be LGBT activists are being granted asylum in the U.S. on fraudulent terms:

A week ago I received a message from one of my Facebook friends who lives in the US. He quoted me the letter he received from a Russian gay guy in Moscow preparing to leave Russia to ask for political asylum in the States. The plan is already being actively fulfilled. A fake police protocol as a sign of prosecution by the authorities is ready, the door of the flat is painted with the word "pidor" (faggot). Looks like this will be enough for him to get his asylum. A small bribe, a direct air ticket - that is all one needs to fulfill the dream. There is another such gay family which I heard about and who recently moved to San Francisco, not even bothering to collect any evidence of prosecution in Russia. They will surely be granted asylum, their cat included. Like the Russian mafia scam that organized fake asylum for straight people in the US a few years ago, we will soon see crowds of straight people - most of them homophobes - being granted asylum on gay grounds.

Alexeyev sees LGBT rights battles he has been fighting for in the Russian courts as being overshadowed by "eccentric" boycotts by Westerners:

Both verdicts, Alekseyev v Russia and Fedotova v Russia, will ultimately be implemented in Russia, because it recognized the jurisdiction of both instances. It will take time and we are continuing our fight for this final step in our battle. On top of that, we have three dozen other cases pending at the European Court, covering virtually all aspects of LGBT rights violations in Russia - widespread bans of public events, denials to register NGOs, including "Pride House Sochi" and "Marriage Equality", hate speech, gay propaganda bans and marriage rights. But prominent figures in the West think they have their own understanding of the situation in Russia and the way the LGBT movement should proceed.

They think the strategy of boycotts when dealing with Russia will work, like it sometimes works in their own countries. So, they want to export them. After all, it is an easy way forward, just gather the media and start to do something eccentric, like dumping vodka on the pavement. At the same time, I personally do not understand why a private company producing it has to bear the consequences of being held responsible for the policy of the Russian state?

Alexeyev also offers suggestions for moving forward - targeting politicians:

The international community would be much more effective if it listened to the activists on the ground, and brought to justice those who are directly involved in stirring up homophobic hysteria in Russia. For many years I have been calling for entrance visa bans for those Russian officials who are personally behind the implementation of gay propaganda laws. No one wanted to support an action that at first could be seen as administrative, because no leading organization will ever support an action on which they cannot earn their share of fame and future grants. Yes, it would have been very complicated for All Out to get signatures for a petition to deny visas to Russian politicians versus a petition to the International Olympic Committee. And proof is that the petition I launched with US activists to President Obama raised only 8,000 signatures against over 300,000 for the All Out petition to the IOC. But what have 300,000 signatures and one photo in front of the IOC Swiss headquarters changed? Nothing! The IOC has not moved one finger in our direction. They only swallowed the Russian official position on gay propaganda law, which will stay in force during the Olympics whatever is being said.

Now think, what would a visa ban for two of the most prominent Russian anti-gay politicians lead to. If you don't know, or if you are unsure, then step back and check the outcry the Magnitsky List has created in Russia among politicians, leading to serious consequences such as the adoption ban of Russian children by Americans. Yet it is easy to understand that you must hit the politicians where it will hurt them the most. Prevent MP Mizulina from entering Belgium and she will have to think why a country like Belgium, which legalized gay marriages and gay adoptions, and where her own son lives and works in a gay-friendly company, no longer wants her. These wounds will be nothing compared to the irreparable loss of gay teens who decided to commit suicide after being harassed by mentally disturbed skinheads whose anti-gay hatred was fueled by the same politicians.

Alexeyev also suggests that the European Court be lobbied.

Watch the Reuters report on the raid on Alexeyev's home, AFTER THE JUMP...

Apt

Continue reading "Russia Raids Home of Leading Gay Activist Nikolai Alexeyev: VIDEO" »


Second Gay Man Murdered in Russia Within a Month

A group of Russian villagers have killed a 39-year-old man in the Russian region of Kamchatka for being gay in the second fate hate crime in Russia in recent weeks, AFP reports:

KamchatkaThe suspects, three men in the village of Zaporozhye, allegedly killed a man on Wednesday "because their fellow villager had a non-traditional sexual orientation," the Investigative Committee said in a statement, using a euphemism for gay.

"The victim died at the scene from his injuries. Then the suspects tried to cover up the crime by putting the body in his car, pouring on petrol and setting it alight," investigators said.

The three men have been detained.

Even though the investigators confirmed that the attack was believed to have been driven by homophobia, in a rare admission from officials on the sensitive issue in Russia, the suspects are being investigated for murder, not for a hate crime.

The victim was the deputy director of a local airport.

RIA Novosti adds:

Officials reported on Friday holding a 21-year-old employee of a fisheries firm in connection with the killing, but did not at that time mention a possible motive for the crime.

The incident is not the first suspected hate crime against gay men in recent weeks in Russia. Last month, investigators in the southern city of Volgograd opened a probe into the death of a 23-year-old man, whose body was covered with various injuries.

Reuters reports:

"Now the deputy director of an airport has been killed in Kamchatka. Because he was gay. And it's going to get worse," Nikolai Alexeyev, Russia's most prominent gay rights activist, said on Twitter.

Critics say the bill would effectively ban gay rights rallies and events. Alexeyev has said it is part of a "homophobic policy" that is giving Russians carte blanche to attack gays.


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