Russia Hub

Russian Gay Activists File Complaint With European Court of Human Rights Over Banned Rally

AlexeyevA group of Russian gay rights rights activists has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The group made an application in October 2013 to hold an equal marriage rally in central Moscow. The request to hold the rally was denied, with officials citing the country’s laws banning "gay propaganda."

The group has attempted to appeal the decision, but it was to no avail. Moscow’s Tverskoy District court upheld the ban of the rally.

The activists hope to have more luck with the ECHR, where they will be citing the ECHR charter's Article 11 (the right to freedom of assembly and association). They will also cite Articles 13 and 14, which ensure the right to an "effective remedy" and forbidding of discrimination, respectively.

Russian LGBT rights activist, lawyer and journalist Nikolai Alexeyev (pictured) is working with the activists. Via Pink News, Alexeyev says that in the last year, there have been 90 similar applications go through the same process.  In addition to the "gay propaganda" law, police have pulled one from the Serbian playbook, citing  a risk of violence to ban the events.

Argentina Grants Asylum To Russian Man Subjected To Harassment Based On Sexual Orientation

ArgentinaFor the first time, a person has been granted asylum by the Argentinian government after suffering harassment based on sexual orientation. 'Gene,' the gay Russian man who fled to the South American country, has been given the "condition of refugee" according to the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals (FALGBT), who 'Gene' contacted for help two years ago. 

NVO News reports:

Argentina’s National Refugee Commission accepted the petition after acknowledging in a report the harassment suffered by the 28-year-old man and the lack of government protection for sexual minorities in Russia...

We hope that starting with this first case, Argentina will be positioned as a refugee destination,” FALGBT president Esteban Paulon, who took Gene’s case to the government commission, told EFE.

We are sending our well wishes to 'Gene' and our thanks to Argentina and FALGBT.

Anti-gay Russian Lawmaker Calls for Ban on Mail Carrying Tom of Finland Stamps

Tom of finland

Vitaly Milonov, the St. Petersburg lawmaker behind the city's anti-gay "propaganda" ban and the disruptions at last month's Queerfest, has called on the Russian Post to turn away any mail bearing postage stamps honoring the work of gay artist Tom of Finland, The Moscow Times reports:

MilonovThe stamps that have so enraged Milonov feature several provocative images, such as a man's bare buttocks with another man's face visible between his legs, and a naked man sitting between another man's legs.

In a letter to the head of Russian Post, Dmitry Strashnov, Milonov condemned the stamps for "contravening Russian law," the TASS news agency reported Saturday.

"They are basically elements of homosexual propaganda, which is banned in our country. I ask the leadership of Russian Post to pay close attention to this request. In addition, I urge the Finns themselves, our close neighbors, to refrain from using these stamps when sending letters to Russia," Milonov wrote, TASS reported.

The series of six stamps released last month by Finland's postal service has become a worldwide bestseller

Scott Lively Stars In Russian Anti-Gay Documentary: VIDEO

Scott Lively

Evil bigot and driving force behind Uganda's "Kill the Gays" bill Scott Lively is being given another platform to spout his hate speech courtesy of the Russian government in a state-funded "documentary" called Sodom, because even in Russia they deliberately overlook the fact that God destroyed Sodom because of the city's "pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door," not gay butt sex.

The documentary was shown on television and produced by anti-gay TV host Arkady Mamontov, a man who actually blamed the Chelyabinsk meteorite explosion on the gay rights movement because in his fevered mind gays are also black mages who have learned to cast Meteor. In the U.S. Lively knows that his lies - such as that the average American is against homosexuality (false) - have little traction, but given Russia's relatively recent uptick in anti-gay sentiment Lively has fertile ground to disseminate his vitriol.

The video is available in full on YouTube and, as Joe Jervis points out, contains the usual shots of gay pride celebrations as examples of homosexual depravity, because everyone knows that straight people never take off their clothes and have parties in the streets.

The video, if you can stomach it, is available AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Scott Lively Stars In Russian Anti-Gay Documentary: VIDEO" »

U.S. Embassy Condemns Kyrgyzstan's 'Gay Propaganda' Law, Says It Harms Democracy

KyrgyzstanBack in March, an anti-gay "propaganda" law in the same vein as Russia's was introduced into Kyrgyzstan's parliament, infuriating Human Rights Watch and other pro-gay organizations. The U.S. government made no immediate moves to speak out against the bill, which would penalize those who aid in "'forming a positive attitude to untraditional sexual relations' among minors or in mass media" with jail sentences of up to a year. Now, the U.S. embassy in Kyrgyzstan has condemned the proposed legislation.

Yahoo! News reports:

"No one should be silenced or imprisoned because of who they are or whom they love. Laws that discriminate against one group of people threaten the fundamental rights of all people," the U.S. embassy in Kyrgyzstan said in a statement.

"Sweeping limits on civil society harm democracy."

There are strict processes in place for passing legislation in Kyrgyzstan: the bill must go through three readings and votes, and then be signed by the sitting president. Kyrgyz leaders maintain that the outcome is unclear while western press is more sure it will pass.

"It is unclear how this bill will move in (Kyrgzstan's) parliament. The draft law is still at a very early stage, and so far no one is ready to comment on it," said Kyrgyz presidential spokesman Kadyr Toktogulov.

However, both pro-government and opposition factions in the legislature have already mostly spoken in favor of the proposed law, with some deputies calling for making it even tougher.

Whatever the outcome in Kyrgyzstan, let's hope that no more anti-gay propaganda laws become a reality. The ill-effects on the LGBTQ community in Russia have been more than evident.

Russian Protestors Arrested During Peaceful Pro-LGBT Demonstration: VIDEO

Screenshot 2014-10-14 02.00.07

Russian authorities arrested eight organizers of a National Coming Out Day demonstration in Moscow this past weekend after being caught handing out fliers and unfurling pro-LGBT banners in Sokolniki Park. Though the demonstrators had obtained the necessary permits for their gathering, the local police force deemed the group’s activity as a public threat and swiftly dispatched the small crowd. Footage of the gathering reveals a relatively small congregation of people within a largely unoccupied park.

“They were criminal policemen, who watched the rally and waited for the moment to detain the participants,” Nikolai Baev, one of the detained activists told The Washington Blade. “This is a common practice in Putin’s country; a lot of police agents watch all rallies in Moscow.”

The organizers were rounded up by plainclothes police, placed into holding, and released hours later for no other reason than disobeying officers.

Watch video of the peaceful protest AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Russian Protestors Arrested During Peaceful Pro-LGBT Demonstration: VIDEO" »


Towleroad - Blogged