ST. PETERSBURG, July 4 (RIA Novosti)St. Petersburg authorities have approved for the first time an event in support of civil rights for Russia’s gay and transsexual community, an organizer said on Wednesday.
According to Yuri Gavrikov, the St. Petersburg City Hall has authorized an LGBT protest march and a rally on July 7 at the Polyustrovo Park away from the city center. No more than a 1,000 protesters can participate in the event.
“The goal of the action is to attract the attention of the public and the authorities to violations of civil rights of LGBT community and to the need to pass legislation prohibiting discrimination over sexual orientation,” the application for the event submitted to St. Petersburg authorities says.
St. Petersburg’s Legislative Assembly passed the law penalizing “the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors” in late February. It came into effect on March 11.
The so-called Gay Propaganda law imposes fines of up to $16,000 on individuals and up to $160,000 on legal entities for the promotion of homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender practices among minors.
It follows similar bans in the southern Astrakhan and central Ryazan and Kostroma regions in Russia.
The new legislation outlaws Gay Pride events.
The law has caused a divided reaction among Russians, where anti-gay sentiment remains strong. Russian LGBT groups have requested support in the West against the law that made the “promotion of homosexuality” an administrative offense.
The influential Russian Orthodox Church has backed the law.