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UK/RUSSIA

Russian Gay Activist Tells London Audience He Will Fight On

 

Nikolai Alekseev given award by GALHA
 



 

 
■  Russian gay activist Nikolai Alekseev with Derek Lennard (left), Andrew Copson and George Broadhead (right) at the annual lunch of GALHA.
(photo: UK Gay News)
 

LONDON, November 12, 2006  –  Russian gay activist Nikolai Alekseev has vowed to fight on after Moscow Pride 2006 was officially banned by Moscow’s mayor and the resulting protest was disrupted.

A lawyer who lives and works in Moscow, Alekseev is the founder and head of Project Gay Russia and the executive secretary of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).

He has been actively challenging homophobia in Russia for the last four years and took a leading role in the planning of Moscow Pride. He has also has been very active in campaigns in other Eastern European countries, notably Latvia.

The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) flew him in from Moscow to speak at its public meeting concerning homophobia in Eastern Europe on Friday and for its annual lunch as guest-of-honour and keynote speaker on the following day.

At the meeting which was held at London’s Conway Hall, he was joined on the panel of speakers by journalist Andy Harley, GALHA’s Derek Lennard who is also the UK co-ordinator for the International Day Against Homophobia, and Peter Tatchell of OutRage! They all attended Moscow Pride last May.  Jason Pollock, the executive director of Pride London was also on the panel.

In a moving speech to his audience at the GALHA lunch, which was held at Chez Gerard in London’s Southbank on Saturday, Mr. Alekseev described the hostility which participants in Moscow Pride 2006 had to face from a coalition of fascist thugs and Orthodox Christian religionsts.

He said they had been “bloodied but unbowed” and would certainly be back with a vengeance in 2007.  Given time, he predicted, the situation for LGBT people in Russia would be as favourable as it is now in Western European countries.

His speech was received with an ecstatic ovation and he was presented with an award by GALHA’s acting chair Andrew Copson in recognition of “his courage in challenging homophobia in Russia and beyond”.

Mr. Copson described Nikolai Alekseev as “a very courageous man”, while Mr. Lennard commented that “we don’t need lessons in morality from the Mayor of Moscow and his cronies”.

SEE ALSO

Elton John's Remarks On Religion Promoting Hatred Are “Self-Evidently True” Says Gay Group.  The UK Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) has given its backing to Sir Elton John’s claim that religion promotes the hatred of gays, saying that it is self-evidently true.  (UK Gay News, November 12 2006).

LINK

Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association website

 

 

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Posted: 12 November 2006 at 18:30 (UK time)

 

 

 

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