A fight is going on over the Russian city of St. Petersburg as a group of gay rights activists have issued a complaint against the authorities in the city for its ban of a gay pride parade in June 2011, reports Jason Shaw.
The equality group, Ravnopravie, has made the appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, alleging the authorities’ actions were “disguised discrimination.”
This brave organisation is also planning to launch another appeal against the St. Petersburg authorities, this time for the ban of a gay pride rally planned for July 7th this year.
Yury Gavrikov a gay rights activist in St. Petersburg told local news “The authorities violated the Russian law, which is proved by common sense and consultations with lawyers, who are ready to help us.”
On 25th June 2011 a small dedicated band of gay rights activists held an unsanctioned rally in the city and were met with aggression and violence from the authorities, 14 people were detained and convicted of administrative violations.
In recent months the city has stepped up its discrimination and persecution of gay people with the introduction of a new law which effectively censors any mention of homosexuality in public and outlaws any gay price events. Many believe this is a half way measure along the road to completely criminalising homosexuality in the area and the country as a whole.
The bill banning “the propaganda of homosexuality and paedophilia among minors” became law in March of this year. The authorities have also raised fines for unauthorised meetings, demonstrations and marches significantly, designed to prevent pre announced and approved gay pride protests from taking place.