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Content about St Petersburg

July 24, 2014

Officials have rejected every location that the organizers of St Petersburg’s LGBTI Pride rally have suggested, instead granting them permission to hold it in the middle of nowhere

Despite the Russian city of St Petersburg repealing its city-wide ban on so-called ‘propaganda of homosexuality to minors,’ officials are still working to frustrate the work of LGBTI activists in the city.

Organizers had hoped to hold an LGBTI Pride rally this Saturday, however by Monday this week city officials had rejected every location for the rally that was suggested to them.

However city officials offered their own alternative locations for the event.

One was a small village between a forest, a cemetery and a rubbish dump.

July 23, 2014

Group says ruling tells wider society that the idea of protecting the rights of LGBT people is something 'foreign', and, therefore unnecessary and even harmful

A Russian LGBT organization has been told by a St Petersburg court it must be registered as a 'foreign agent', a label that implies it is a spy operation.

Coming Out, a group helping LGBTI Russians, was told it was engaging in political activities on behalf of foreign countries.

Judge Naidyonova claimed the group is violating rights of ‘persons with traditional sexual orientation’ by distributing pamphlets that assert being gay is normal.

June 25, 2014

An estimated 125,000 people are expected to descend on St Pete Pride from 27 to 29 June to join the sunset Pride parade, block party and family-friendly street fest

We knew Miami, Key West and Fort Lauderdale have serious LGBTI credentials.

But we were pleasantly surprised to learn Florida’s largest Gay Pride festivities take place in the city of St Petersburg (obviously not to be confused with the Russian city).

Sharing a peninsula on Florida’s western coast with the city of Clearwater, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Tampa Bay to the east, the sun-drenched city of St Petersburg packs a lot of pride into just one weekend.

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Gay rights activists suspect ban was repealed is because lawmakers do not want to be 'humiliated' by the European Court of Human Rights

St Petersburg has repealed the ‘gay propaganda’ law.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 17, 2014

Thugs threw stones and eggs in an attempt to stop the rally, but it could not stop rainbow balloons from being released into the sky

Hundreds of Russian gay rights activists braved threats of violence to hold a peaceful protest in the city of St Petersburg today (17 May).

With around 200 armored policemen surrounding the group, there was one officer for nearly every single person participating in the rally.

The people gathered in a square holding placards calling for peace, love, diversity and tolerance.

May 2, 2014

A Russian lawmaker who believes gay groups should be shut down and anti-gay laws enforced accidentally marched alongside a gay rights protest

Hundreds of LGBTI activists joined the largest protest so far against Russia’s anti-gay laws since they were introduced yesterday (1 May).

With a large rainbow banner reading ‘Love Is Stronger Than Hate’, around 300 protestors marched through the streets of St Petersburg fighting for their rights.

Some held rainbow flags, some carried the pink, blue and purple flag representing bisexuality, and others held posters calling for love, not hate.

The march coincided with a May Day rally, with numerous groups and organizations taking part in the event.

April 15, 2014

Co-creator of gay propaganda laws, Vitaly Milonov, says he will help Crimea to rid their region of 'evil' like he did in Russia

A Russia lawmaker has called for the banning of gay clubs and social media pages in order to ‘rid the country of evil’.

Vitaly Milonov, co-sponsor of the gay propaganda bill that was made law, has said bars and dance venues for the LGBTI community are ‘destroying Russia’.

The politician who represents St Petersburg in the Legislative Assembly is currently in Sevastopol, a city in Crimea.

Authorities in the crisis zone peninsula told LGBTIs gay pride parades would be banned on the basis of the Russia ‘gay propaganda’ law.

April 2, 2014

Gay rights activists suggest Russia could wait to enforce stricter laws against the LGBTI community after the country faced fierce international criticism

A Russia lawmaker has called for a ‘moral police’ to be instated to ‘deal’ with gay people.

Vitaly Milonov, co-sponsor of the ‘non-traditional relationships’ bill, has said a new division in the police force would help improve stamping out ‘gay propaganda’.

The moral police squads are being proposed to combat propaganda of homosexuality, as well as stopping prostitution and gambling.

They would also ‘strike down’ those who offend religious believers for whatever reason.

March 11, 2014

Amnesty International have called on the Russian authorities to arrest the masked men responsible for the terror attack in St Petersburg

Russian police are refusing to catch the criminal who blinded a gay man in one eye.

In November, two masked men stormed a ‘rainbow social’ for young LGBTIs and allies and attacked with guns and baseball bats at the offices of LaSky in St Petersburg.

Two young activists, Dmitry Chizhevsky and Anna Prutskova, were hospitalized from the terror attack.

Despite three surgeries, the 27-year-old Chizhevsky will never see again from his left eye.

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.

February 9, 2014

Despite arrests, reported beatings and threats of sexual violence against activists who were detained, the IOC says nothing except that Russia was acting in accordance with its laws

Since the start of the Sochi Olympic Games on Friday, some 61 activists – 24 of them for staging pro-gay demonstrations – have been arrested across Russia. Some of those held in Moscow have reported being beaten while in police custody.

February 7, 2014

Four gay rights activists, including one pregnant woman, have reportedly been arrested in St Petersburg

Russia has made the first arrests of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

Four gay rights activists, including one pregnant woman, were arrested in St Petersburg today.

LGBTI advocate Anastasia Smirnova led the group holding a banner, according to the Russian LGBT network.

It said: ‘Discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic Movement. Principle 6. Olympic Charter.'

Speaking to Gay Star News, a police spokesman confirmed the arrests and said they would be held until further notice. They could answer no further questions at this time. 

February 5, 2014

Protests will take place in 19 cities around the world including London, New York and St Petersburg

A call is being sent out around the world to protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws today (5 February).

Held two days before the Winter Olympics begins in Sochi, the protestors will call on sponsors to speak out over Russia’s gay propaganda ban.

Protests are expected to take place in 19 cities around the globe, including London, New York, Paris and St Petersburg.

Sponsors of the Olympic Games include Coca Cola, McDonalds and Visa.

December 28, 2013

Maria Maksakova said Russia has suffered extremely negative consequences – artists lose their jobs and sexual minorities are attacked

Renowned Russian opera singer Maria Maksakova has become one of the few people in the ruling United Russia party to publicly oppose the gay propaganda law.

The 36-year-old messo soprano soloist with St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater said the law has ‘extremely negative consequences.’

December 26, 2013

Brave activists in St Petersburg have mocked Putin, Patriarch Kirill and other anti-LGBTI leaders with ‘Golden Enema’ disgrace awards

President Vladimir Putin and Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill have been awarded ‘Golden Enema’ prizes for their anti-gay abuses.

Neither were there to pick up the insulting prizes from the Straight Alliance for LGBT Equality at the ceremony in St Petersburg, Russia.

But they, and the other six winners, will be forwarded their Golden Enemas, and their scrolls of dishonor outlining their ‘services to homophobia’, by post.

November 28, 2013

Dustin Lance Black, Gus Van Sant and Milk producer Bruce Cohen are traveling to Russia to host a special screening of their Harvey Milk biopic at St Petersburg’s Bok o Bok Film Festival despite a series of bomb threats against the festival

Oscar winning Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and the film's director Gus Van Sant and producer Bruce Cohen will take part in a special screening of the film and a Q and A session at St Petersburg’s LGBT Bok o Bok (Side by Side) Film Festival on Saturday to close the festival.

The three filmmakers are traveling to St Petersburg for the festival despite a series of bomb threats being made against the festival – though none has proved credible thus far and seem mostly to have been aimed at disrupting screenings.

November 19, 2013

The promoter of Lady Gaga’s 2012 tour of Russia has been fined for breaching Russia’s laws banning ‘propaganda of alcohol consumption and homosexuality’ to minors after the mother of a 13-year-old girl who attended her concert complained

A Russian woman who allowed her 13-year-old daughter to attend a Lady Gaga concert in St Petersburg has had the tour’s promoter fined for breaching Russia’s ban on so-called gay propaganda and for encouraging the consumption of alcohol.

Russia’s administrative code contains a clause covering the ‘protection of children from information that could harm their health and/or development’ and Nadezhda Petrova used this to have promoter Planeta Plus hauled before St Petersburg’s #122 City Court.

November 18, 2013

Manchester’s Gay Village in northwest England is to host a rival Olympics opening ceremony to support LGBTI Russians

Openly gay athletes will parade proudly at a rival event to the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony to highlight LGBTI rights in Russia.

The alternative ceremony is being planned by Manchester’s world famous Gay Village in northwest England.

It will bring together performance artists, athletes, gay bars, activists and others to send a message of solidarity with LGBTI Russians.

Manchester, twinned with St Petersburg in Russia, has fought the Russian law banning gay propaganda from the start.

November 15, 2013

Organizers are appealing the decision that they were wrong to allow children as young as 12 to attend the 'gay' concerts

Russia has fined the organizers of a Lady Gaga concert because she ‘harmed’ children with a pro-gay speech.

A magistrate’s court in St Petersburg yesterday (14 November) fined Planet Plus 20,000 rubles ($614, €455).

During the gigs in St Petersburg and Moscow on 9 and 12 December 2012, the US singer dared Russia to arrest her and made a speech about the bravery of LGBTs in the face of anti-gay laws.

November 12, 2013

Anti-gay abortion protestor bursts balloon for saying Christ loves LGBTI people

A gunman who attacked a gay Russian activist for holding a pro-gay inflatable has escaped jail.

Gleb Likhotkin, a self-described orthodox anti-gay activist and vice president of an anti-abortion group, attacked at a gay campaigner in St Petersburg on 17 May.

Prosecutors said Likhotkin ‘took personal offense’ by a pro-gay slogan printed on a balloon.

He fired at least one cartridge of eye irritant at the balloon and then two shots at its carrier, who was trying to disarm him.

‘Christ loves men and women equally’, the inflatable said.

November 5, 2013

Amnesty International have called on the Russian authorities to arrest the masked men responsible for the violent attack in St Petersburg

A Russian gay man who was blinded in one eye after a homophobic shooting has spoken out on his ordeal.

One of the two gun-wielding masked men shot Dmitry Chizhevsky, 27, in the eye during a terror attack on a social event for young LGBTs in St Petersburg on Sunday (3 November).

The young activist, as well as female advocate Anna Prutskova, was hospitalized.

November 4, 2013

After calls to attack a LGBT event at a HIV charity's offices were posted on social networks, two masked men opened fire and left a man and a woman in hospital

A Russian may lose his eye after two masked men attacked an HIV group for gay men last night (3 November).

The unknown assailants attacked a ‘rainbow social’ for young LGBTIs and allies with guns and baseball bats at the offices of LaSky in St Petersburg.  

According to LGBT activists, two guests were hospitalized.

Speaking to news portal Rosbalt, the activists explained the attackers forced their way into the office and opened fire.

When police arrived, they said there was no evidence of a crime.

October 18, 2013

Gay Star News heads to Stockholm for Pride and wonders how a city so close to St Petersburg could be so different

It only takes an hour to fly from Stockholm in Sweden to St Petersburg in Russia, and the two countries couldn't be more different.

In one, sexuality is so free and open that public masturbation just became legal.

In the other, having a 'non-traditional' orientation can condemn you for life.

As I prepared to join the tens of thousands flocking to the Swedish capital for Pride back in August I began to realize why Stockholm could challenge for the right to call itself the LGBT capital of the world.

October 15, 2013

Equestrian Lee Pearson has claimed he will travel to Sochi and speak out against the 'gay propaganda' laws

A British gay Paralympic athlete is to risk jail and deportation at next year’s Winter Games held in Russia next year.

Lee Pearson MBE, a 39-year-old equestrian athlete who has won 10 Paralympic golds, has said he will travel to Sochi and hopes to ‘embarrass’ Russia.

After the introduction of ‘gay propaganda’ laws by Vladimir Putin’s government, last weekend alone there were 67 arrests in St Petersburg.