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Hillary Clinton and Yuri Luzhkov to Pay Tribute to Gay US Poet in Moscow 

 

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 MOSCOW, October 12, 2009 (GayRussia) –  US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to inaugurate a monument to the gay American poet Walt Whitman in Moscow on Wednesday during her short European tour, GayRussia learned today.

And the ceremony is due to be presided over by the Mayor of Moscow, the openly homophobic Yuri Luzhkov, who has banned every attempt to stage a Pride parade in the Russian capital.

Mr Luzhkov, who has called gay pride a “satanic gathering” and gay people “weapons of mass destruction” , was accused last week of trying to shut down Moscow’s oldest and most popular gay club, Club Chance.  The club is due to close by November 15.

The monument to Walt Whitman, an author forever linked to gay culture and its history will be located in the gardens of the Moscow State University, where last May the Mayor ordered the arrest of 32 gay and lesbian activists from Russia and Belarus who were attempting to stage a Slavic Gay Pride.

Among the people arrested were also British human rights activist Peter Tatchell from Outrage! in London and Andy Thayer from Gay Liberation Network in Chicago.

Mr Luzhkov was accused last week of trying to shut down Moscow’s oldest and most popular gay club. The Club is due to close by November 15.

“Hillary Clinton will have a good chance to publicly express her position on gay rights to one of the top homophobic politicians in Europe,” said Nikolai Alekseev, the chief organiser of Moscow Gay Pride.

“I think that no one would understand her silence on the breach of fundamental rights of LGBT people in Russia, the day she inaugurates the monument to a gay poet together with the homophobic Mayor of Moscow,” added Mr Alekseev.

Hillary Clinton is a strong advocate of human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Speaking last June at the beginning of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, she said: “I will advance a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the elimination of violence and discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Tomorrow, Russian gay activists will be holding a press conference in Moscow about the threatened closure of Club Chance.  A number of prominent musicians and singers are expected to attend and “come out” against homophobia.

SEE ALSO

Moscow Gays Launch Campaign Against Closing of Oldest Moscow Gay Dance Club.   The Moscow gay community is fighting to prevent the closure of the oldest and most popular gay club in the Russian capital – Club Chance.  (UK Gay News, October 11, 2009)

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Posted: 12 Oct 2009 at 22:00 (UK time)

   
             
       

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