Sunday, 26 February 2006

Protest the Banning of Moscow Pride

In the past few weeks, we learned that Moscow was following in Warsaw's footsteps with plans to ban the organisation of gay pride there. Local religious leaders joined their voices and actually physically threatened potential participants. Last week, Ken Livingston, mayor of london, joined the mayors of Paris and Berlin, as well as Merlin Holland, grandson of Oscar Wilde, in a call for Moscow Pride to take place.

Now it is time for "the man (and woman) in the street" to show their support for this event...

Russian Embassy picket

Thursday 2 March 2006
12:00 Noon – 2:00 PM
Russian Embassy
13 Kensington Palace Gardens
London W8 4QX

A demonstration in solidarity with Russian LGBT groups will be held outside the Russian Embassy on Thursday 2 March 2006, from 12 noon, to protest the banning of Moscow Pride by the Mayor of Moscow and threats of violence by Russian religious leaders.

The protest is being called by the organisers of the International Day Against Homophobia and will coincide with parallel protests in other European cities.

Click here for a map

Nearest Tube: Notting Hill Gate (0.3 miles)
Nearest Train: Paddington (0.8 miles)

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has announced that the city government will not allow a gay parade "in any form" and any attempt to hold a gay event will be "resolutely quashed"

Chief Mufti of Russia's Central Spiritual Governance for Muslims, Talgat Tajuddin said: "Muslims' protests can be even worse than these notorious rallies abroad over the scandalous cartoons… The parade should not be allowed, and if they still come out into the streets, then they should be bashed," he added.

Russian Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar said that if a gay pride was allowed to go ahead it "would be a blow for morality". He said the the Jewish community would not stand by silently. "Sexual perversions", he said, did not have a right to exist.

A spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church (who have lobbied the mayor to ban the parade) spoke out against Moscow Pride, telling various media outlets that homosexuality is a "sin which destroys human beings and condemns them to a spiritual death."

Russian LGBT groups have called on their counterparts in other capital cities to demonstrate outside Russian embassies to make sure the issue gets the attention of the Russian media and to show their support for Russia’s struggling gay community.

The UK coordinator of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), Derek Lennard – who is helping to organise the protest in London – said:

"The first Pride in Moscow is of enormous and enormous importance particularly to the LGBT communities in the Baltic and Eastern European Countries. All those who are able to take the freedom to organise Pride for granted will surely want show their support for the LGBT community in Moscow."

Simultaneous demonstrations are planned in Paris and Warsaw.

Moscow Pride is part of an International Gay Festival in May which will be attended by 250 people including politicians and campaigners from all over the world.

Pass this on...

The international IDAHO website is
For more information, email

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