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Content about LGBT rights in Russia

November 13, 2014

The fight to get the rainbow flag proudly flying

Russia is still suffering, trapped under strict 'gay propaganda' rules that fine the promotion of homosexuality to children.

Ilmira Shayhraznova is the latest victim of attempting to fight for gay rights.

Earlier today, as she held a rainbow flag proudly in the town square, the police apprehended her.

Taking her and two other activists to the police station, they were fined based on an 'administrative offense'.

Shayhraznova was found guilty of violating the order of holding a public event in Lipetsk, a city in southwestern Russia.

June 18, 2014

Gay rights activists suspect ban was repealed is because lawmakers do not want to be 'humiliated' by the European Court of Human Rights

St Petersburg has repealed the ‘gay propaganda’ law.

Lawmakers in the city’s local assembly decided there was no longer a need for a local law now there is a federal ban.

The second largest city in Russia was one of the first to introduce an anti-gay law in 2012.

Vitaly Milonov, who was the co-sponsor of the original homophobic legislation in St Petersburg, introduced the repeal but this does not mean he is supporting LGBTI people.

He said he will continue to fight against ‘gay propaganda’ and seek to criminalize such acts.

May 14, 2014

‘However bad the situation, we are ready to defend our human dignity and rights, to speak against violence and stand with activists all over the world’

The situation for LGBTI people in Russia is getting more and more complicated.

Human rights violations, hate crimes and speeches and state-sponsored homophobia have become a part of day-to-day life of LGBTIs and those who speak out for equal rights for everyone.

But despite this, there is defiance. We are planning various actions devoted to International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on 17 May. There will be activity in at least 11 Russian cities.

April 4, 2014

Six judges in Kostroma, in western Russia, have ruled the city was wrong to ban a gay rights protest over 'propaganda' fears

In what is being described as the biggest gay rights victory in Russia yet, a ban on Pride was declared illegal today (4 April).

The Presidium of Kostroma Regional Court - the highest court in the region - has ruled two rallies held last year in June protesting against the nationwide ‘gay propaganda’ ban should have been allowed to go ahead.

The six judges heard from gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev as well as the western Russian’s city local government that banned the event.

February 13, 2014

Vitaly Milonov, who says gay people rape kids and are violent towards straights, has said a gay contest must take place behind closed doors

A Russian lawmaker who sponsored the federal gay propaganda law wants Moscow’s ‘Gay Olympics’ banned.

Vitaly Milonov has urged Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to ban the LGBT Sports Games that is being planned to be held shortly after the Sochi Winter Games.

The lawmaker has become a central figure in the battle on gay rights in Russia after he authored the original ‘gay propaganda’ bill in St Petersburg before it became federal law.

November 30, 2013

Representatives from a group of of Russian LGBTI rights organizations meet with the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach

In a Paris meeting with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, representatives from Russian gay rights organizations asked Bach to seek specific answers on how Russian authorities will enforce 'gay propaganda' laws during the 2014 Winter Games.

November 15, 2013

Pundit Arkady Mamontov has warned Russia must protect 'traditional love' or face the consequences

A Russian TV host has caused outrage after he has blamed falling meteorites on LGBTI people.

Arkady Mamontov, a pundit on state channel Rossiya 1, has warned Russia must respect ‘traditional love’ or face the consequences.

He named the Chelyabinsk meteorite, which fell in south-west Russia on 15 February and injured 1,491 people including 311 children, in his warning.

Mamontov was asked on politics show Special Correspondent to discuss new documentary film ‘Litsedei’, translated in English as ‘Hypocrites’.

November 6, 2013

While the federal law will still stand, Arkhangelsk is the first region in the entirety of Russia to repeal a ban on 'gay propaganda'

A Russian region has become the first to repeal a law banning ‘gay propaganda’ today (6 November).

Lawmakers in Arkhangelsk, in north Russia, decided there is no longer a need for a local law now there is a federal ban.

The region, known as ‘Archangel’, was the second after Ryazan to implement a local anti-gay law in 2011.

It was before seven others including Saint Petersburg followed in 2012.

In the two years since having a regional ban on gay propaganda, Arkhangelsk only found three activists guilty of disobeying the law.

October 2, 2013

A Russian judiciary court has agreed with an international ruling, a sign they could be forced to in years to come to repeal the federal law

A historic ruling in Russia could be the key to finding an end to the ‘gay propaganda’ laws.

Back in March 2009, gay activist Irina Fet protested against the regional homophobic law in Ryazan.

She held a placard saying ‘Homosexuality - It's Normal’ and ‘I am proud of my homosexuality’ outside schools and libraries.

Arrested, charged and fined 1,500 rubles ($46, €34), Fet was found guilty of informing minors about homosexuality.

While her group Moscow Pride appealed the charge, they lost at a local court.

October 1, 2013

Sergei Naryshkin: 'They build their lives freely and in accordance with their preferences'

The head of the Russian state of Duma said today (1 October) that the country's anti-gay propaganda law will not lead to discrmination.

At a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Sergei Naryshkin also said that no one discriminates against LGBT people in Russia.

The broadly-written law prohibits public support of homosexuality and has brought widespread criticism to Russia ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

September 27, 2013

Alexey Davydov, 36, has died in hospital after a short life dedicated to LGBT rights

One of Russia’s most prominent LGBT activists, Alexey Davydov, has died at just 36 years old after a prolonged illness.

Davydov passed away at 5.40am local time today (27 September) in the intensive care unit of a Moscow hospital.

Despite his illness, he had worked for LGBT rights to the end. He had been due to protest outside the Sochi Olympics headquarters in Moscow on Tuesday (24 September), a demonstration leading to the arrest of 10 activists.

September 25, 2013

A group of 10 have proved what will happen if gay rights activists dare to defy the protest ban during the Sochi Winter Olympic Games

Ten LGBT activists were arrested at Sochi Olympics HQ in Moscow for daring to defy Russia’s anti-gay laws today (25 September).

The group, led by gay activist Nikolai Alekseev, tried to hold a protest against the ban against public rallies during the Olympic Games in Sochi next year.

According to eyewitness reports, once police seized a poster calling for the end to homophobia in Russia the group were immediately arrested at around 2pm (local time).

September 20, 2013

Vitaly Milonov, author of Russia's law banning 'homosexual propaganda,' arrived with an entourage at yesterday's QueerFest launch verbally and physically abusing attendees

The author of Russia's gay gag law arrived at an LGBT festival yesterday to harass guests and allies.

The homophobic United Russia city parliament deputy Vitaly Milonov reportedly arrived with an entourage of five to six people calling guests 'animals, 'un-Russian' and 'faggots', according to QueerFest organizers,

The Russian lawmaker, who co-sponsored the 'non-traditional relationships' law, previously said a gay activist must die for his 'extremism'.

September 20, 2013

A protest in Moscow next week will go ahead. Permission awaited from officials in Sochi. Kostroma new court decision contradicts previous ‘gay pride bans are unlawful’ ruling

LGBT activists in Russia are to defy a ban and protest at the last inspection by Olympic officials ahead of the Winter Games.

Moscow authorities have ruled the protest on 26 September cannot go ahead.

Campaigners have also applied to protest in Sochi – where the Olympics will be held – and are still awaiting a response from officials there, even though they have passed the official deadline for a reply.

September 6, 2013

UK Prime Minister David Cameron raised gay rights at a 2am face-to-face with the Russian President

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said he raised gay rights in Russia at a 2am meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

The face-to-face conference at the G20 summit was promised in advance by the UK PM to LGBT rights activists.

July 31, 2013

'We should speak up, not walk out'

The Russian LGBT Network spoke out today against calls for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi to protest Russia's recently enacted anti-gay propaganda law.

July 22, 2013

Three Dutch people were arrested for the anti-gay law in the northern city of Russia, and told they had 'violated the rules of stay' - a court date will follow tomorrow

Four tourists were arrested in Russia for ‘gay propaganda’ today (21 July), making them the first foreigners to be officially charged under the anti-gay law.

In Murmansk in North Russia, four Dutch citizens were detained by police.

One of those arrested is Kris van der Veen, a councillor for the left-wing green party GroenLinks in Groningen. He is also chairman of the foundation KGBT Groningen, which campaigns for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.

June 11, 2013

State Duma passes 'homosexual propaganda' law unanimously fining people and organizations for so called 'gay propaganda' with foreigners jailed and deported

The lower house of Russia’s parliament (State Duma) has overwhelmingly passed a bill that bans so-called ‘propaganda’ of homosexuality.

The State Duma voted 434-0 with one abstention on today (11 June) to approve ban imposing hefty fines for holding gay pride rallies or providing information about LGBT issues to minors.

The bill now needs, as a formality, to be approved by Russia’s appointed upper house and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, but this is expected to follow by the end of the this month.

June 6, 2013

Three masked men attacked Nikolai Alekseev, who received minor injuries, as he was about to board a train leaving from Kostroma to Moscow, Russia

Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia was attacked, as he was about to board a train in Kostroma heading for Moscow, Russia.

Three skinheads dressed in black, wearing white masks that covered their faces, cycled right up to Alekseev, physically and verbally assaulting him, earlier today (5 June).

Alekseev recounted to Gay Star News, while recovering on his train journey: ‘I was about 100 meters from the train station when someone ran into my back with a bicycle.

May 27, 2013

Stockholm Pride organizers have launched an advocacy campaign inviting Russians to celebrate Pride in the Swedish capital

Stockholm Pride organizers have launched the #GOWEST campaign this week to raise awareness of homophobia in Russia, particularly the century-long ban on Pride events.

May 24, 2013

Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride, received a warning from Russian authorities not to go ahead with the event tomorrow, or else face legal consequences

Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia, has received a warning from the Russian General Prosecution not to go ahead with a planned Moscow Pride tomorrow.

Earlier today (24 May) security officers twice served a warning to Alekseev at his Moscow home.

Last year, Moscow's highest court ruled to ban gay pride parades in the Russian capital for the next century.

May 23, 2013

Despite a Moscow suburban court ban, organizers intend to go ahead with Moscow gay Pride as plannedDespite a Moscow suburban court ban, organizers intend to go ahead with Moscow gay Pride as planned

A Moscow suburb court upheld the decision of the city authorities not to permit a gay pride parade this Saturday (25 May). Despite the ban, activists say Moscow Pride will go ahead as planned.

Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia, stated: ‘Khimki City Court upheld the ban on the planned Gay Pride rally and march.’

He added he would appeal on Monday to the Moscow Regional Court.

May 22, 2013

The Council of Europe demanded that Russia must act to guarantee the right of LGBT people to freedom of expression and demonstration

The council of Europe demanded that Russia’s LGBT community would be guaranteed the right of expression and demonstrations, as the country continues to clamp down on gay events and rights.

In a press conference held in Moscow today (22 May) Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary-general of the Council of Europe (CoE) delivered a stern message to Russia regarding gay rights.

May 14, 2013

Albania organizes IDAHO week to give the LGBT community sexual liberation from verbal and physical homophonic abuse

Pink Embassy and LGBT Pro Albania have organised a weeklong celebration which includes the countries second Festival of Diversity, LGBT exhibitions and lectures.

It is all part of making a stand as Albania celebrates International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) for the fifth time this week, culminating on IDAHO day on 17 May.