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Gay Activists Discuss Homosexuality with Homophobic Far Right Groups
Extraordinary seminar held in Minsk
MINSK, November 19, 2008 (GayRussia.ru/Gay.by) – Three of the leading gay activists in Belarus came face to face with representatives of the ‘far right’ at a seminar in Minsk yesterday.
With the theme ‘Do radical organizations have the right to exist’, the seminar was organised by the Belarusian Helsinki Committee.
“It was very good that we and our opponents could see each other face to face and to talk,” commented Sergei Androsenko of the Belarusian Initiative for Sexual and Gender Equality.
“We will continue broad presentation of LGBT movement during the events of various kinds. And of course we are thankful to Belarusian Helsinki Committee for the invitation to take part in this seminar.”
Also taking part in the seminar were LGBT activists Sergei Prad and Polina Likhodievskaya.
Facing them were representative of the ‘far right’ – including the groups Belaya Volya, Pravyi Alliance, Belarusian Christian Democracy, Molodoi Front as well as the former editor of Teocratia magazine.
During the seminar, the participants diverged from the main topic of the discussion included in the organiser’s program. The reason was the participation of the representative of the LGBT community.
This meant that participants discussed the topic of homosexuality. The far right representatives categorically rejected homosexual relations.
But it did not prevent gay activist Mr. Androsenko to publicly express the views and positions of his movement.
At one stage, a representative from Pravyi Alliance pointed at Mr. Androsenko and said: “This young guy certainly came and got what he wanted – everyone is discussing homosexuality”.
The support during the seminar for sexual minorities in their fight for equality came from expert lawyers and human rights activists who also took part in the event.
Following the seminar, Mr. Androsenko was interviews by TV BelSat and Radio Ratsya.
He said: “We, the representatives of the movement for the rights of sexual minorities, should not be scared to come to the events of our opponents.
“We must go to them, we must knock on their doors, we must try to tell them about homosexuality what they don't know.”
Mr. Androsenko went on to say that “participation in this event persuaded me that phobias of far right radicals are mostly due to the fact that they don’t know anything about homosexuality, they follow well known rooted stereotypes.
“I heard absolutely illiterate and ridiculous accusations towards people like me, towards homosexuals.”
Last weekend Belarusian and Russian gay activists
gathered in Minsk to unite their efforts in the fight against homophobia and
decided to start Slavic Gay Pride movement. The first march is planned for
16 May 2009, the day of Eurovision Song Contest final, in Moscow.
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