“Gay rights activists in Russia have managed to secure permission to hold a picket against a homophobic politician in the city of Tambov,” the online Pink News tells us. “City authorities approved the protest yesterday, the first time a gay public event has been authorised in Russia.”
Many gay campaigners have followed events in Russia. All similar actions in Moscow and St Petersburg have hitherto been rejected by the local authorities. The Mayor of Moscow has severely suppressed the last three attempts – in 2006, 2007 and this year – to hold a Pride event.
The news outlet tells us:
Tambov, 500km from Moscow, is also considering an application from gay campaigners Nicolas Alexeyev and Anna Komarova for a Pride march in the city later this month.
The picket against homophobia, to held on Friday, is in protest against the regional governor Oleg Betin.
In May, he declared in an interview: “Tolerance? To hell! Faggots should be torn apart. And their pieces should be thrown in the wind.”
What a charming man!
The same month, the organisers of the Moscow Gay Pride asked for a criminal investigation against Mr Betin.
The activists filled a complaint with the local court after the prosecutors declined to initiate a criminal investigation.
Alexeyev is quoted as saying, “The governor of Tambov region expressed insults towards homosexual people. We want him to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Our planned picket will be another opportunity for the discussion of these homophobic expressions.”
A second event, planned for 18 October, is a march for tolerance and respect for the rights of Russian lesbians and gays. City authorities are said to be considering the request.
Currently, five applications against Pride bans are awaiting consideration in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.