Requests for a gay pride parade to be held in St. Petersburg this Saturday were denied as a result of a Gay Propaganda law that came into effect in March. The Russian LGBT group Ravnopravie applied to hold St. Petersburg’s third annual pride parade tomorrow, and its organizers are now facing charges of homosexual propaganda. According to the Russian International News Agency, the so-called “gay gag” law issues a fine to individuals or organizations that are accused of distributing information that promotes LGBT rights and equality to minors.
The ban on gay pride in St. Petersburg follows the Moscow city court’s decision to ban any public gay pride events until May 2112. Russian LGBT rights leaders plan to appeal this decision and bring it to the European Court of Human Rights. “They refuse our requests every time, but in Strasbourg they recognize these rulings as unlawful. But time does not stand still, we ask for a new event and again they refuse us,” one activist told Russia Today.
St. Petersburg’s governor claims that the public had demonstrated opposition to the pride parade and gay rights. However, Russian LGBT activists have requested Western support in opposing the Gay Propaganda law, and both Amnesty International and the US State Department have criticized the bill. As stated in the Gay Star News, Ravnopravie plans to hold the gay pride parade in St. Petersburg tomorrow, despite the illegality of this action.
Media Resources: Russian International News Agency 7/5/2012; Russia Today 6/7/2012; Gay Star News 7/6/2012