Threat to out Russia's gay politicians over Olympic Pride House ban
Russian gay activist Nikolai Alekseev appeals ban on Pride House at 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi at European Court of Human Rights
Activists in Russia plan to out gay politicians if they continue to support a ban on Pride House at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Russian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender campaigners had planned the venue to be a meeting place for gay athletes and their supporters with events including a sports competition and photo exhibition.
Despite appeals, local courts upheld a decision to ban Pride House, with a judge claiming it was ‘extremist’ and could provoke ‘social-religious hatred’.
Gay rights campaigner Nikolai Alekseev says he will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights and plans to out closeted gay politicians if an agreement is not reached.
‘We know very well the gay politicians and who are members of the Russian Olympics committee,’ Alekseev told Gay Star News.
‘They are gay but at same time not doing anything to support gay rights or helping in any way to organize.’
He added that he and other campaigners will continue to pressure organizers and the government to lift the ban.
He said: ‘It’s important we continue the tradition of Pride House which was started in Vancouver last time and London this summer, which I am sure will continue in Rio at the next summer Olympics.
‘We can’t break with this young tradition and will do our best to open it with the permission of the authorities or not.’
Alekseev believes one of the main reasons for the ban is an exhibition on recent human rights abuses which Pride House organizers had planned to run in Sochi.
This is not the first time the registration of an LGBT non-governmental organization in Russia has been denied by the authorities.
But the case is being seen as highly symbolic due to its direct connection with the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, which the Russian government hopes will help to increase the country’s reputation worldwide.
Pride House was first featured during the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010.