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Friday, 12 December 2008

For all your fury, Yuri, Moscow will go pink

I wonder how many gay people voted in the Eurovision Song Contest this year. It crossed my mind that quite a few ensured by their votes that Moscow got to host the next one.

It’s well known that the event attracts a huge gay male following, and, thanks in no small part to that following, the Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, will get to host it next May.

Obviously grateful for the gesture, Mr bloody Tossoff has graciously told gay men in no uncertain terms that they’re not welcome in his city. He doesn’t want them on the streets of Moscow when they turn up in their droves for Eurovision.

He has said, “Entertain yourself, no problem, but not on the streets, squares, marches and demonstrations. We never introduced any limitations in their respect except public actions. We do not allow gay parades.”

Well, bugger you, Mr Twatski. It looks as if you’ll get gay men in the streets whether you want them or not, in spite of your having consistently banned every gay-rights march in Moscow since 2005.

Russian and Belarussian activists are planning a Slavic Pride event in Moscow to coincide with the Eurovision final on 16 May.

“Gay Pride public action during the final of Eurovision will take place in any circumstances,” said Moscow Pride’s organiser Nicolas Alexeyev. “We’re not going to surrender our right to freedom of assembly and expression because it is given to us not by Mayor Luzhkov but by the Constitution of this country.

“I will be shocked if these words from Moscow’s Mayor do not lead to any reaction from the General Secretary of the Council of Europe and Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe.

“I cannot believe that officials in Strasbourg will continue to silently accept these and future breaches of the European Convention on the part of Russian officials.

“The time for press releases and statements is over. It is time for effective action.

“The European Convention and its interpretation by the European Court of Human Rights are very clear that we have the right to peaceful assembly.

“Those who do not agree with that should be the ones responsible.”

So it should be an interesting event, and ensure that Mr Homophobski is put in the media spotlight far more than he has been for his banning of Pride marches.

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