MOSCOW, January 3, 2006 (GayRussia.Ru wire) – The Russian gay and lesbian
community are convinced that 2006 will be a watershed year.
Some have said that the projected Moscow Pride – the
first-ever in the city – is doomed to failure. Russia, they say, is just
not ready for a “Pride” event, let alone the accompanying “cultural”
What the handful of negative soothsayers have failed to
take into consideration is that the city authorities will simply not be
permitted to stand in the way of the gay and lesbian “celebration” at the
end of May.
Russia has just taken over the presidency of the G8
nations. And one of the main issues that Russia is including it the agenda
for the G8 summit at the Konstantinovski Palace near St. Petersburg a month
after Moscow Pride is the fight against HIV/AIDS and other worrying diseases
like malaria and tuberculosis.
Will Russia want the world to know that in May a gay
festival in the country that itself was addressing the subject of HIV/AIDS
was outlawed by the authorities when there were a reported 30,000 new cases
of HIV in the country?
Apart from presidency of G8 – and perhaps more
importantly when it comes to the Moscow Pride Parade, Russia will also have
another very important role in 2006. On May 19, just six days before the
Moscow Pride Festival is due to start, Russia takes over the Presidency of
the Council of Europe – the organisation which is the main human rights
organisation that unites no less than 46 different countries, slightly more
than half of them are members of the European Union.
Obviously the Russian authorities will not allow any
decision of Moscow city authorities to limit Russian gays and lesbians of
their right to meetings and demonstrations, guaranteed not only by Russian
constitution but also by the European Convention – the main document of the
Council of Europe.
Even the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said on
television recently that “the role of [the presidency] means special efforts
to find compromises and mutually acceptable solutions with partners. That
is how we are going to act on the position of the president”.
“The mere fact of conducting such event and the provision
of security for its participants will become a major check for Russia in
terms of its readiness to respect rights and liberties as well as principles
of democracy, followed by member-states of the Council of Europe and G8,”
said Nikolai Alekseev, one of the organizers of Moscow LGBT-festival.
“In the current political and international
circumstances, in which Russia found itself in 2006, I cannot even imagine
that Russian authorities will take steps to ban the gay pride and other
events of the festival. Russia can not allow itself to risk its reputation
a week after the start of Russian presidency in the Council of Europe and
just before the summit of G8 leaders in St. Petersburg,” he suggested.
“As the fact that Russia is becoming president of two
prestigious forums in 2006, this year can bring further developments in
democracy and liberty in Russia,” he pointed out.
“Many experts are saying that political and international
reputation of Russia rests on presiding in G8 and Council of Europe.
“On May 27, 2006, the day of the first Moscow gay pride
parade, Russia will be under watchful eye of the whole international
community. Russia has to prove to the world that it is following the
principles of democratic development and respect for human rights, as well
as has full involvement in the global problems of humanity.”
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December 30: Iran:
Iranian Women’s Group Hits Out at Death Sentence on Teen Girl.
an NGO supporting and defending women’s rights in Iran, has joined the
protest against the execution of Delaraa Daraabi (she was reported as
Delaraam in our first
New Adoption Law Gives Gay Couples Joint Rights.
Same-sex couples, whether in a ‘civil partnership’ or not, can from today
jointly adopt children – as can unmarried opposite-sex couples.
Previously, adoption law in England and Wales allowed individuals – both
straight and gay – to adopt, but this gave their partners few parental
Lithuania Follows Latvia’s Homophobic Outbursts Amid Calls for
Constitutional Change. By
Lithuanian MP and former social minister Irena Degutiene, a member of the Homeland Union
(Conservatives) will reportedly begin collecting signatures in January as
part of a drive to amend the constitution so
marriages will be banned.
Civil Partnership – A Reason for Us All to Celebrate.
By the Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, MP, The Prime Minister.
article was first published in The Independent on December 21, the first day
of Civil Partnership registration in England and Wales. It appears here
with the permission of 10 Downing Street.
Metis Arrested in Kathmandu for Staying in Hotel. In the early hours of this morning,
a “meti” (transgendered male) was arrested
by police as she was leaving the Thamel tourist area on a motorcycle with
her male friend.
Young Iranian Woman Gets Death Sentence.
Unconfirmed reports from Iran are today suggesting that a young woman has
been sentenced to death by hanging. According to
IranPressNews.com (Persian only), her name is Delaraam and she was 17
when she allegedly committed the crime. It is not clear if the execution
has taken place.
2005 Utopia Awards for Gay and Lesbian Pioneers in Asia Announced.
Rosanna Flamer-Caldera and Dr Peter Jackson have been named joint s
winners of the Utopia Award, Asia’s leading gay human rights award which recognises individuals and
organisations that have contributed to improving the quality of life for
the gay, lesbian, and transgendered communities across the continent.
Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas: It’s Time for the Religious Right to Get
Some Holiday Cheer.
Op-Ed by Imam Daayiee Abdulla.
again this year, the religious right has taken offense at the so-called ‘war
on Christmas.’ The American Family Association and other radical religious
groups have called for a boycott of Target because of the corporation's
policy of saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
of Slain Army Private Calls on Pentagon to Immediately Implement Anti-Gay
Harassment Plan. Patricia Kutteles, mother of slain Army Private First Class Barry
Winchell, issued a statement today in response to reports that Private Kyle
Lawson, 19, was attacked by a fellow service member at Fort Huachuca,
Arizona, after fellow soldiers learned Lawson is gay.
Government Minister to Gay Couples. Labour’s Deputy Minister
for Equality, Meg Munn MP, has congratulated gay couples across the country
who are taking part in the UK’s first same sex civil partnership ceremonies
Gays Call on President to Press for Legal Same-Sex Partnership:
Epiphany of Homophobia in Latvian Politics. A
last-ditch plea to the Latvian President from a group of European Members of
Parliament failed to alter her decision to sign the constitutional amendment
defining marriage as being between a man and a woman which was passed last
week by the Latvian parliament.
President Signs Anti-Gay Constitutional
Amendment. The President of Latvia, Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, has signed the
constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a
woman. Latvia becomes the first country in Europe to have an
anti-gay clause in its constitution.