Two arrested under new St Petersburg gay law

First use of new anti-gay ‘propaganda’ legislation in Russian city of St Petersburg

Two arrested under new St Petersburg gay law
06 April 2012

Two gay activists from Moscow Pride were arrested in St Petersburg yesterday (5 April) under the new ‘gay propaganda’ law.

The law, similar to legislation in other Russian states, officially prevents the ‘propaganda of homosexuality to minors’ but campaigners warn it will be used to gag any public discussion of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender issues or events targeted at gay and trans people.

They are due to appear in court today – and if found guilty they will appeal the new St Petersburg law to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

Alexei Kiselyov, and Cyril Nepomnyashiy were both arrested yesterday as they staged individual pickets close the Palace of Youth Creativity on Nevsky Prospect. They face fines of 5,000 roubles ($172 €125) each.

In addition, the two activists face up to 15 days in prison for taking part in a public event that was not authorized by the city authorities and of ‘disobeying the lawful demands of police officers,’ GayRussia is reporting.

Nikolai Alekseev, the founder of Moscow Gay Pride and GayRussia, is the lawyer for the two activists. He said this morning (6 April) that there was ‘no propaganda’ involved in the pickets.

‘They are only trying to convey to the public capital scientific truth that homosexuality is not a disease but a natural and normal sexual orientation,’ he told Gay Star News.

‘But yesterday’s arrests show that this prohibition is being broadly construed, enforcing the denial of the right of freedom of expression for LGBT people.’

Alekseev went on to say that the police acted arbitrarily.

‘We will present a video of the arrests in court today,’ he said, adding that if necessary the case would be taken to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

According to reports from the Interfax news agency, Kiselyov and Nepomnyashiy displayed placards simply saying ‘Gay – this is normal’.



No thumbnail available

My gay city: Jason Parmenter on why his new home of Auckland rocks

Beaches, BBQs, and a brilliant outdoor lifestyle in New Zealand.
No thumbnail available

Backed by California chapter, gay teen applies for Eagle Scout status

Ryan Andresen is challenging Boys Scouts of America ban on gays
No thumbnail available

Barbra Streisand makes music industry history with sales of latest album, Partners

Barbra Streisand makes music industry history with sales of latest album
No thumbnail available

Murder and being gay listed as expulsion reasons from Turkish army

Gay men will be discharged from the Turkish army because of their 'lifestyle choices' according to a new regulation
No thumbnail available

Actor relishes gay role on US soap opera

Chandler Massey's soap character coming out in dramatic fashion on NBC's Days of Our Lives
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Trans people victims of 'horrific' press coverage

Trans Media Watch told the Leveson Inquiry the media has 'created a climate of prejudice' against trans people
Italian politician: 'Gay people should just change gender if they want to get married'

Italian politician: 'Gay people should just change gender if they want to get married'

Recent ruling allowing trans people to change their gender identity without medical intervention gives one politician an odd idea...
No thumbnail available

Mary Portas' pregnant partner breaks ankle days before due date

Fashion editor Melanie Rickey to be operated on after 'blacking out' and falling
No thumbnail available

Catholic Bishops warn Ireland: Don’t legalize gay marriage

Ireland’s Catholic leaders warned if marriage equality introduced the Church will no longer conduct any marriages