St Petersburg bans gay pride and charges activists for ‘propaganda’

Organizers vow to go ahead with gay pride event in Russian city despite ban

St Petersburg bans gay pride and charges activists for ‘propaganda’
06 July 2012

Gay pride in St Petersburg has been banned and the organizers charged under the Russian city’s anti-gay ‘propaganda’ law.

Authorities yesterday (5 July) rejected an application by LGBT group Ravnopravie (Equality) to hold the city’s third annual pride tomorrow (7 July), despite initially authorizing the event on Tuesday (3 July).

City Hall claimed the decision to ban the march for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights was in response to local media reports that called the event ‘gay pride’ rather than a ‘march and a stationary rally’ as described in the application.

After the application was rejected, Yury Gavrikov, head of Ravnopravie, told Chtodelat News that he and another fellow organizer Sergei Volkov were then charged by police officers under the city’s so-called ‘homosexual propaganda’ law which can be used to gag any public discussion of LGBT issues or events targeted at gay and trans people.

Gavrikov says police accused them of distributing information to the media which ‘promote[d] the social equality of same-sex relationships and traditional marriage’ among minors.

The St Petersburg ‘gay gag’ bill has fines of up to 1 million roubles ($34,400 €25,000) for organizations and up to 5,000 roubles ($172 €125) for individuals.

Speaking to RIA Novosti, St Petersburg governor Georgy Poltavchenko’s spokesman Andrei Kibitov claimed the public were also against the pride march.

He said: ‘A great number of calls and emails have been received not only from St. Petersburg, but from the other Russian cities as well, asking [us] to cancel the gay parade.’

Ravnopravie has vowed to go ahead with the demonstration despite the decision but officials warned that they would be breaking the law if they did.

Applications to hold the parade in the last two years have been rejected, with authorities claiming it could damage buildings, cause road accidents or violated the rights of pedestrians not participating in the rally.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Ender’s Game anti-gay author Orson Scott Card asks for ‘tolerance’ over film boycott

Science fiction author has called LGBT people 'genetic mix-ups', products of 'abuse and rape', and said any government who legalizes same-sex marriage would be his 'mortal enemy'
No thumbnail available

Gay character of Teddy to return to 90210 for multiple episodes

Trevor Donovan's presence dependent upon whether actor is cast in Hunger Games seq
No thumbnail available

Tim Tebow won't be saying 'It Gets Better'

Despite petition signed by more than 8,000, Tim Tebow won't be participating in It Gets Better campaign
No thumbnail available

Australian rugby player David Pocock speaks out for marriage equality

'How can we be challenging homophobia when we’re saying, ‘You’re equal to me but you’re separate''
No thumbnail available

Vote on gay marriage fails in first Australian state

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the Australian state of New South Wales has failed in a narrow vote of 19 to 21
No thumbnail available

Melissa Rivers to try and save her mom's legacy as new co-host of Fashion Police

Joan Rivers' daughter will continue to serve as executive producer of the troubled show
No thumbnail available

Philippines law experts: denying gay marriage is unconstitutional

Former law dean says the concept of marriage as between a man and woman is 'obsolete'
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay Nigerian bishop appointed new Secretary General of global Anglican Communion

Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon supports the criminalization of homosexuality but says the church’s battle is ‘not against homosexuals, our battle today is against those who say God’s standards are not good enough for us.’
No thumbnail available

Magic Mike XXL stars Matt Bomer and Channing Tatum surprise crowd at LA's Pride Parade

They kept their shirts on but parade goers went wild anyway
No thumbnail available

Gay Euro Games opened in Budapest

Members of the European Parliament have taken part in opening the 2012 Euro Games in Hungary