Gay Pride Moscow

The Moscow gay pride parade happened a week ago, as usual. Or rather, didn’t happen as usual. LGBT demonstrations, Described as ‘satanic’ by one former mayor, have never been allowed in Moscow.

Drugoi (Rustem Adagamov), one of Russia’s most popular bloggers, was there this time, and reports that everything followed the pattern established over the past 7 years of abortive parades. The organizers apply for a permit. They are denied, on dubious grounds (“a provocation, causing moral harm”). A few of the brave and foolhardy turn up anyway, ready to be either arrested or attacked by counter-demonstrators.

A few dozen journalists waited at the city council building and opposite the mayor’s office on Tverskaya Square, waiting for the appearance of LGBT activists…What happened today couldn’t be called a parade nor even an action — a dozen people with assorted rainbow logos, or without them, turned up to the city council. One one ground or another they were all arrested and taken away by the police.

And if you think wearing the rainbow flag is shaky grounds for arrest, you should look at St. Petersburg. There, “homosexual propaganda” has been banned since March, by a law which forbids “propagandising sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism, and transgenderism among minors“. There are moves in progress introduce a similar law on a national level. So all in all, gay rights in Russia are growing weaker, rather than stronger.

ETA: after writing it I discovered that, wonder of wonders, an LGBT demonstration has been allowed in Moscow. Maybe my pessimism was unjustified — or perhaps this is a one-off, because assorted EU politicians are in town

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