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Friday, 10 October 2008

Russia's first gay event – not!

It seems Russia won’t be getting its first official public gay event in the cit of Tambov after all.

We reported on Wednesday (see “Russia’s first gay event”), citing a story in Pink News, that Russia was likely to see such an event, which would be good news.

However, it's not good news after all, as we learn from Gay Russia, under the headline Tambov mayor gave up to homophobes: First Authorized Russian gay picket is finally banned.

This source tells us:

In its letter of denial, sent to the organisers on Thursday, the city hall argued that the view of the majority of the citizen of Tambov as well as the impossibility for local police to secure the event are sufficient reasons to ban tomorrow’s [today’s] action.

Earlier on Monday the city administration had verbally authorized the event but asked for a new location. The organizers submitted the next day an amended application as requested by the authorities.

Between Tuesday and today pressure put on Tambov Mayor has been intense and the city hall changed its decision.

Nikolai Alekseev, one of the organisers of the planned picket, is quoted as saying, “These arguments are in full contradiction not only with Russian Constitution but also with the European Convention on Human Rights. As always, we will take this unlawful ban through the Russian court system up to the Strasbourg court.”

Some good news is that an exhibition called LGBT Rights is to be staged in Moscow in December, according to a website of that name.

For “all couples who consider themselves as a family there will be an opportunity to embody their union”, it says, and there will be a professional photographer on hand. “There will be exhibited works which show family values of LGBT representatives,” it adds.

We’ll bring you more news on this nearer the time.

Thanks to Nicolas Alexeyev for the tip-off.

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