Despite ‘Gay Propaganda’ Ban, LGBT Activists Stage Pickets in Arkhangelsk
 No arrests as authorities recognise right to peacefully demonstrate singly

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Transgender activist Anno Komarov pickets outside the Arkhangelsk Region government building in Archangel today.
photo courtesy GayRussia



ARKHANGELSK (ARCHANGEL), December 11, 2011 (GayRussia)    In sub-zero temperatures, a number of small pickets were held today in Arkhangelsk protesting the introduction by the regional authorities of a so-called ‘prohibition of propaganda of homosexuality to minors’ law which came into force today.

And the authorities let the pickets go ahead.

All the pickets were staged in Lenin Square, where the main bodies of local and regional authorities are located.

Gay activist Alex Kiselev went to the building of the Assembly of Deputies of the Arkhangelsk region, displaying a poster that read: "Teenagers have homosexuals as much as adults. Who will protect them?”

During the picket, passers-by approached him, asking questions.  Some of them approved of the action and even shook hands with him.

Transgender activist Anno Komarov was standing near an Arkhangelsk Region government building with the placard “Trans men can be gay. It is illiterate to fine for the information.

During his picket an employee of th administration approached him, took photographs, and said that the conduct of the pickets was lawful.

Gay activist Nikolai Alekseev, founder of Moscow Pride, picketed Arkhangelsk City.  He stood with a placard "Children have a right to know great people, too, are gay.  Homosexuality – it’s natural and normal.”

He cited Tchaikovsky, Sergei Paradjanov, Rudolf Nureyev and others.

Each of the activists approached the police.  Texts of their posters, as well as passport data, were recorded.  At the same time the officer called his superiors and asked whether a law prohibiting picketing “propaganda” of homosexuality among minors in the Arkhangelsk region, which came into force today.

Response of the authorities was likely to be negative. But the demonstrators were told: “As long as you stand alone, you will not break the law”.

This advice was heeded and, as a result there were no arrests.

LGBT activists plan to continue their protest in Arkhangelsk to the complete abolition of discriminatory regulations that effectively prohibit freedom of expression for homosexuals.

GayRussia.Ru Project will continue to monitor developments in Arkhangelsk.

■ Photogallery of nine images of today's pickets from GayRussia.


UN to Consider Russian Laws on Gay Propaganda at Geneva Session Next Summer.   Russian campaigners against the so-called ‘gay propaganda to minors’ measures that started to be introduced in Ryazan District in 2006 heard yesterday that the United Nations Human Rights Committee will consider the matter at its session in Geneva in July 2012.  (UK Gay News, December 1, 2011)

Russian LGBT Groups Appeal for Letters to Be Sent To ECHR and UN over ‘Gay Propaganda’ Moves.   The recently formed Kaleidoscope Trust, a London-based international group set up to campaign for diversity and gay rights around the world, has joined-up with International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and other organisations to back a campaign by Russian activists to try and halt a proposed law that will outlaw the “promotion of homosexuality” in Russia’s ‘second city’, St. Petersburg.  (UK Gay News, November 28, 2011)

British Foreign Office “Concerned” About Proposed Anti Gay Moves in St. Petersburg.  The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London expressed “concern” today over the proposed new law in St. Petersburg that would outlaw the “promotion” of gay, lesbian and transgender matters.  (UK Gay News, November 24, 2011)

Washington Moves Over St. Petersburg Proposed ‘Gay Propaganda’ Bill.  Despite having more ‘weighty’ matters of foreign policy on its agenda, the State Department took less than 24 hours to react to a question on the proposed legislation in St. Petersburg that would outlaw “gay propaganda”, as the Russians call it.  (UK Gay News, November 23, 2011)

Why It Is Wrong in Even Considering Anti Gay Legislation in St Petersburg.  UK Gay News Commentary.  Russia, in allowing ‘anti-gay’ legislation to be introduced in two regions – Ryazan in 2006 and Arkhangelsk last month, has totally flouted conventions of the 47-nation Council of Europe which it voluntarily joined as it came out of the Soviet era.  And when the Duma in St. Petersburg finally passes a similar law in the coming weeks, and this is virtually inevitable, there will be three regions of the country that fall foul of Strasbourg.  (UK Gay News, November 22, 2011)

Moscow Authorities Now Propose Anti Gay Bill.  The authorities in Moscow are now proposing to introduce a Bill that will outlaw the “promotion of homosexuality”, it emerged this afternoon.  (UK Gay News, November 17, 2011)

What’s Russian for “Homosexual Propaganda”?  By Julia Ioffe.  In a near unanimous vote on Wednesday, the St. Petersburg city parliament passed the first draft of a law that would ban what the Russian press has labeled “homosexual propaganda.”  Actually, and if we’re to be precise, the law would fine people for “public actions, aimed at propagandizing sodomy”.  (The New Yorker, November 17, 2011)

Gay and Lesbian Rights: St. Petersburg About to Enter ‘Hall of Shame’.  Commentary by Nikolai Alekseev.  After Ryazan in 2006 and Arkhangelsk, this autumn the regional parliament of St. Petersburg is considering a bill which will outlaw ‘the promotion of homosexuality, lesbianism, and transgenderism to minors’.  St. Petersburg is about to enter the hall of shame of the Russian regions which limit a fundamental human right of an individual, the right to freedom of expression.  (UK Gay News, November 16, 2011)









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Posted: 11 December 2011 at 19:00 (UK time)


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