Target: Moscow City Court
Goal: Allow gay pride parades in Moscow.
In Russia, all public events must be approved beforehand. And recently, the Moscow City Court upheld a lower court’s decision to ban all gay pride events for the next one hundred years. This is a clear statement against gay and lesbian Russian citizens, and must be addressed immediately.
This judgment came after leading gay activist Nikolay Alekseev sent in a request for gay pride parades to be held for the next 100 years to Moscow’s Mayor’s office. He claimed he had found a loophole in Russia’s legislation that would allow this. In response, the Moscow City Court instead banned gay pride parades for the next century. Alekseev says he plans to appeal the ruling.
Government opposition to gay pride events is not a new occurrence in Russia. In May, Moscow police arrested 40 people after gay activists tried to stage two demonstrations in the city to demand the right to hold a gay pride parade; though, those arrested were made up of both gay pride activists and citizens opposing gay pride.
Russia does not recognize marriage equality, and many of the country’s regions have passed anti-gay legislature that fines individuals who publicly support gay rights. In March, the St. Petersburg legislative assembly passed the “homosexual propaganda law.” This law stated that Russian citizens could be fined up to $16,000 for the “promotion of homosexuality.”
Being gay is not a crime, and supporting gay rights should not be either. We must urge Moscow to repeal its former ruling, and allow gay pride parades.
Dear Moscow City Court,
To criminalize support for homosexuality is to infringe upon all Russian citizens’ inalienable human rights. A gay pride parade is not meant as any form of propaganda, but instead as a celebration of gays’ and lesbians’ freedom to be who they are. By preventing your citizens from showing their pride, you directly attack this freedom. Please repeal your ruling to ban gay pride parades for the next one hundred years, and instead, allow gay pride parades for the upcoming century.
[Your Name Here]