"In the night of November, 23 a well-known Moscow gay club “Central Station” was again under attack. Unknown malefactors sprayed some harmful gas inside the club among about 500 attendees. Several people sought medical attention but refused to go to a hospital.
The club staff immediately turned on a smoke removal machine which eliminated the gas from the premises in a couple of minutes, LifeNews reports.
“Today is the fourth provocation against the club arranged by unknown persons. We believe that they are connected with the building owner”, says Andrey Leschinsky, the club general director. “They are spaying the gas inside the club premises, thereby trying to express their extremist views against LGBT community, which likes to visit our club”.
Andrey Leschinsky stressed that that in addition to gas attacks there were other indidents against the club. About a week ago, unknown visitors threatened the club and even shot a gun.
The club’s management filed a complaint to the police to deal with the incident and prevent such extreme actions against the LGBT community.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Sixty-seven people were arrested Saturday at an LGBT event in St. Petersburg, Russia, as anti-gay protesters clashed with LGBT rights advocates, a police official told LGBTQ Nation.
Dmitry Lovetsk, AP Riot police detain gay rights activists after a scuffle with anti-gay protesters during an LGBT rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013.
Dmitry Lovetsky, AP Riot police detain an anti-gay protester during an authorized gay rights rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013.
Dmitry Lovetsk, AP Anti-gay protesters gather to prevent a gay rights activist’s rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013.
The event, to mark yesterday’s National Coming Out Day, an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as LGBT, was scheduled by organizers to be held in the city’s downtown at the Field of Mars (Marsovo Pole) war memorial.
According to police, about 200 conservative and religious activists — which included Russian Orthodox church protesters and members of Russian nationalist organizations — were pre-staged in the area surrounding the Field of Mars and prevented the LGBT activists from approaching the memorial.
The clash between the two groups erupted as the anti-gay forces, singing religious songs and shouting anti-gay slurs, attempted to prevent the LGBT activists from unfurling Pride flags and posters containing LGBT-affirming slogans and messages.
Russian Riot police broke up the fighting, arresting 15 LGBT activists and 52 anti-gay protesters.
The Field of Mars is an area where demonstrations are allowed without special sanctions.
The St. Petersburg city government had sanctioned the rally despite the Russian government’s June passage of a contentious law outlawing gay “propaganda.”
While the law’s proponents argue it is aimed at protecting children, critics say the legislation is part of a much wider crackdown on Russia’s LGBT community, and claim it has led to increasing pressure and threats of violence from homophobic vigilantes.
A similar June protest in St. Petersburg resulted in 50 arrests and numerous LGBT activists being beaten by anti-gay protesters.
Anti-Putin protestors demonstrate outside the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in New York, where the Met held it’s season-opening gala featuring soprano Anna Netrebko and conductor Valery Gergiev, two longtime supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"The law banning gay propaganda among minors is completely wrong, though. I remember being 10 and wanting to be a girl and putting on girl’s clothes. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. This was in the Soviet Union and there was no information to explain what was happening to me. I went to dances dressed as a girl back when I looked more feminine. I also started taking hormone pills on my own, but they made me sick, and once an ambulance had to be called for me. I had to stop taking the pills, and for five or six years after that I couldn’t take any pills at all.
You have to understand the complete lack of information on this subject. According to statistics, there are thousands of people going through what I went through. Just imagine all the kids who have no idea what’s happening to them. I never once met a homosexual in my childhood and only learned what a homosexual was when I was 14. By then, I had long known that I was a woman and I had been wearing women’s clothes for years.
So it isn’t a matter of upbringing. It’s nature. That’s why I think the law against ” homosexual propaganda” is a law against children and one that targets certain social groups. It is a fascist law and nothing else.”
On July 30, Mr Isakov staged a one-man protest in the centre of the town of Kazan, Russia, holding up a sign which read: “Being gay and loving gays is normal. Beating gays and killing gays is a crime!”
According to Gay Russia, his mother and father helped authorities escort their son to the car where he was taken to a police station.
His father assisted police by bringing him to the ground as his mother stole the poster from his hands.
Gilbert Baker on the history, beauty and magic of the rainbow flag (by xtraonline)
While I know the history of the rainbow flag it is nice to hear the story from Gilbert Baker himself. Good interview. —Q.
"Gilbert Baker, the man who designed the rainbow-coloured gay pride flag, talks about its history, beauty and magic. The multi-coloured flag is being used as a symbol to celebrate gay pride and to protest for gay rights. Baker also gives his take on the situation in Russia and the possible Sochi boycotts.?"
"Addressed to the Canadian government, the Canadian and International Olympic and Paralympic Committees, the corporate sponsors of the Sochi Olympics, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the letter outlines a series of specific demands for action by each of these.
The demands are designed to add to growing international pressure against Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian parliament (Duma), which earlier this year outlawed so-called “gay propaganda,” potentially outlawing any defense of LGBT rights and intensifying a tide of escalating violence against LGBT people in that country.
“We applaud Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird for already speaking out on this issue,” says Richard Elliott, executive director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, one of the groups initiating the letter. He also welcomed the statement and letter issued by the Official Opposition supporting civil society’s demands for action.
“However, the Canadian government must go further, including by blocking visas for Russian legislators who sponsored the anti-LGBT measures and by decrying the actions of Putin and his Duma at the highest international levels,” said Elliott. He noted the next G20 Summit is scheduled to be hosted by Russia in two weeks’ time in Saint Petersburg.
The groups say the Canadian government should identify ways to support proactively LGBT advocates in Russia in defending basic human rights. The open letter situates these latest developments as part of a larger, ongoing attack on human rights and civil society by the Putin government, with LGBT people another easy scapegoat to target.
The letter also exhorts the Canadian and International Olympic Committees to: condemn the anti- LGBT laws and publicly support the human rights of LGBT people, including at the Sochi Games; to support, without reservation, athletes who speak out for LGBT rights at the Games; and to host a Pride House during the Winter Olympics.
“To date, the response of both the IOC and COC has been abysmal,” said Elliott. “They were well aware of these laws coming and, in light of the upcoming games in Sochi, have considerable influence on the Russian government. They could have helped prevent such hate, but didn’t, and so far have done virtually nothing to challenge and change it.”
Corporate sponsors of the Sochi Games are requested to condemn Russia’s homophobic laws and violence, withdraw their support unless the Russian government repeals its legislative attack, and redirect funds to support LGBT rights efforts. “Money talks,” said Tim McCaskell of AIDS ACTION NOW!. “Rather than being complicit with the Russian government’s hate-mongering, corporate sponsors have an opportunity to be socially responsible by actively supporting human rights.”
And to ensure that the Russian government can’t get away with using the Sochi Games to burnish its image internationally, the CBC, as exclusive Canadian broadcaster of the games, is being called on to spotlight human rights abuses in Russia, including against LGBT people, before, during and after the Olympics/Paralympics.
“The signatories to this letter show the breadth of concern and support across Canada, and echo the growing international outcry,” said Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale Canada. “It is time for those key actors who hold positions of power and who profit from the Olympics to acknowledge their responsibility and defend human rights.”
"The Finnish media reports that Paavo Arhinmäki flew the flag whilst watching the women’s high jump final, which featured Sweden’s Emma Green-Tregaro, who made her own show of support for LGBT Russians."
Emma Green Tregaro had been told by Swedish officials that the rainbow gesture, which brought international attention as a protest against Russia’s new law against gay “propaganda,” could be a violation of the competition’s code of conduct.
"It was harder to not paint them in the rainbow than it was to choose to paint them," Green Tregaro said Saturday. "I’m surprised by the big reactions but I’m happy about the big reaction because it’s mostly been very positive."
The 28-year-old Green Tregaro won the bronze medal at the 2005 world championships, but she only managed to finish fifth on Saturday at Luzhniki Stadium.
She said the Swedish athletics federation asked her to “please respect the rules” and change the colour of her nails.
"So I decided to paint them red instead, for love," Green Tregaro said.