QBits
Gay rights victory in Russia as a Pride ban is declared illegal
Six judges in Kostroma, in western Russia, have ruled the city was wrong to ban a gay rights protest over ‘propaganda’ fears
Gay rights protests could happen in Kostroma as a court has ruled a ban on Pride is illegal.
Photo by Gay Russia.

In what is being described as the biggest gay rights victory in Russia yet, a ban on Pride was declared illegal today (4 April).

The Presidium of Kostroma Regional Court - the highest court in the region - has ruled two rallies held last year in June protesting against the nationwide ‘gay propaganda’ ban should have been allowed to go ahead.

The six judges heard from gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev as well as the western Russian’s city local government that banned the event.

Lawyers fighting for the ban on gay rights protests claimed the organizers would ‘promote non-traditional sexual relations’.

They also claimed the police would not be able to ensure the safety of all participants in the protests.

But the judges said LGBTI people deserve a right to freedom of expression and protection from discrimination.

Following the announcement, Alekseev announced he would be serving Kostroma with notice of a new Pride and other gay rights events held in public.

Alekseev said: ‘It is our single biggest victory in the framework of the Russian judicial system.

‘And it gives extra weight that the verdict by the Bureau of the regional court - the highest court of the Russian Federation .’

He added: ‘Now I intend to seek compensation from the state of moral and material damages in connection with the violation of human rights caused by prohibitions stated public events.’

The gay rights activist is convinced the entire federal ‘gay propaganda’ ban will one day fall as Russia is incapable of defending the law in the courtroom.

Alekseev added to Gay Star News: ‘There’s a lot of talk and discussion, boycotts and stuff like that, with all this discussion you don’t see all the real legal work that has been done in the last year.

‘This is what really has an effect.’

LGBT protesters pelted with eggs at Moscow equality rally
Police arrest thugs armed with eggs, knives and crowbars who attacked protesters at a rally for equal rights for women and gay people in the Russian capital
LGBT protesters attacked with eggs at an equality rally in Moscow
Photos by Ksenia Zhivago and Evgeniy Pisemsky

LGBT protesters were pelted with eggs for holding rainbow flags at a rally for International Women’s Day in Moscow, Russia yesterday (8 March).

The rally, held from Samotechnaya Square to Suvorov Square in Moscow, included LGBT activists from Moscow’s Rainbow Association as well as around 100 other participants who held placards for equal rights and anti-sexism.

Shortly after the protest started, Russian police demanded any rainbow flags were immediately removed from the rally, but posters with anti-homophobia slogans were allowed to remain.

The sanctioned protest was disrupted by thugs armed with weapons and eggs who attempted to overturn the rally.

The attackers honed in on LGBT protestors who had rainbow flags by pelting them with eggs and trying to burn their placards.

A video of the event shows that a poster with the slogan: ‘No church, no kitchen, no state!’ was seized by the assailants who tried to burn it.

When Russian police arrived to arrest the thugs, it was discovered some of them were armed with crowbars and knives which they had hidden under their clothes.

Russian police arrested at least a dozen of the thugs who attacked the rally.

Reports of such disruption at events rallying for equality for women and gay people have happened before.

In September 2013, police detained 15 people in Moscow who attempted to disrupt a rally about sexual rights for women on World Contraception Day.

Watch the video of the protest here:

http://youtu.be/1QNMTwkZ7CY

Brian Brown: Stop Harming LGBT Russians (by Human Rights Campaign)

"More than a dozen Americans, including the NOM President Brian Brown have traveled to Russia in the last year to meet with policy makers and lobby for anti-LGBT laws in Russia. "

Homophobia is a first step toward dictatorship! Putin is a dictator who condemned to death thousands of orphaned children by banning foreign adoptions. Putin is a corrupted thief who invents scapegoats and deflects attention from his crimes. His latest invention is the anti-gay law, so gays in modern Russia feel like jews back in the USSR. Declaring support for Putin means denying the democracy and demanding racial segregation. This is what Putin doing in Russia now in regards to gays and migrant workers from Central Asia.
Vladimir Luxuria Detained Again in Sochi Wearing Rainbow Outfit, Dumped in Rural Area: VIDEO
Unsurprisingly, it is a trans activist who puts themselves front and centre in an attempt to bring attention to egregious policies and propaganda that affect not only themselves, but many other LGBQ identified individuals.
A very brave woman. Give her a gold medal.
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1_luxuria

Vladimir Luxuria, a transgender former Italian MP who was detained for several hours on Sunday by Russian police, appeared at the Olympic Village in Sochi on Monday wearing a rainbow-colored outfit and headdress and was being detained again. Luxuria was driven away by authorities in a car with Olympic markings (photo here), according to the AP.

Luxuria was hustled away from the hockey arena by four men not wearing identification who abandoned her in a rural area:

"I was very, very afraid this time because the first time they said, ‘It’s OK for the first time, don’t do it again for the second time.’ So, this time I was a little bit afraid," Luxuria said. "But they just left me outside, in the country, there, outside and that’s it."

Luxuria had been walking around the Olympic Park in Sochi for about two hours. She was shouting “Gay is OK” and “It’s OK to be gay” in both English and Russian.

As she was being led away from Shayba Arena, she was shouting “I have a ticket.”

She spoke to RT about her detention on Sunday before the incident on Monday:

"I was kept to take information for a couple of hours and then at last a person talking English came and said I shouldn’t show Russian writings about LGBT rights."

She also had a message for Putin:

"I would say to Mr. Putin that he should show modernity not only with these beautiful buildings. You have to be modern and open in your mind."

Luxuria arrived in Sochi with Pio and Amedeo, a comedy duo who star in the Italian television program called Reservoir Dogs and call themselves the Hyenas. The Hyenas were also taken by authorities and abandoned in the countryside.

According to Italian media reports, Luxuria and the two men have been asked to leave the country and will be escorted to the airport tomorrow morning at 11:30 am by the Russia Foreign Ministry.

Video: http://youtu.be/uK2tylNeeyw

Sochi, Russia — A transgender former member of Italy’s parliament has been arrested in Sochi, according to Italian media reports.

Vladimir Luxuria, who was Italy’s first openly transgender elected official, was allegedly arrested after she held a rainbow-colored banner that said “Gay is OK” in Russian.

Luxuria also tweeted a picture of herself outside the Olympics’ Medal Park holding a rainbow-colored hand fan. The message under the picture said ‘I’m in Sochi! Regards with the colors of the rainbow, in the face of Putin!’

Luxuria apparently was protesting a Russian anti-propaganda law approved last year that many perceive as anti-gay. President Barack Obama and several other world leaders skipped attending the Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony because of the law.

Obama sent a low-level official delegation to the Winter Games that included two gay former Olympians.

Italian wire services reported that Luxuira telephoned an Italian group called the Gay Project and told them that she had been arrested by Russian authorities.

Imma Battaglia, honorary of the Gay Project, told Italy’s LaPresse and AGI that Luxuria is ‘alone in a room with neon lights on the face, allegedly in police custody.’

Luxuria was a member of Italy’s Communist Refoundation Party.

(via Denny Morrison’s gay bar sponsor shares in silver celebration | Toronto Star)

Morrison’s silver medal has an even more interesting backstory. Not only did his team mate, Gilmore Junio, drop out so Morrison could race, Morrison is being sponsored in part by a Calgary gay bar ‘Twisted Element’.

“At one point I asked Denny, ‘If you want to distance yourself from us while you’re in Sochi just let me know. I won’t do any posts. I’ll just fade into the background,’ because I was afraid of guilt by association. But he said, ‘No, I’m a big boy. I’m not going to dump you (during the Olympics).’ ”

Elsewhere in the article Morrison states:

“I’ve lost friends over them becoming gay in my past,” [Morrison] told the news agency. “I feel bad about that now. I realize how ridiculous that was. So that’s why I think it’s neat this gay club took me on.”

(via Denny Morrison’s gay bar sponsor shares in silver celebration | Toronto Star)

Morrison’s silver medal has an even more interesting backstory. Not only did his team mate, Gilmore Junio, drop out so Morrison could race, Morrison is being sponsored in part by a Calgary gay bar ‘Twisted Element’.

“At one point I asked Denny, ‘If you want to distance yourself from us while you’re in Sochi just let me know. I won’t do any posts. I’ll just fade into the background,’ because I was afraid of guilt by association. But he said, ‘No, I’m a big boy. I’m not going to dump you (during the Olympics).’ ”

Elsewhere in the article Morrison states:

“I’ve lost friends over them becoming gay in my past,” [Morrison] told the news agency. “I feel bad about that now. I realize how ridiculous that was. So that’s why I think it’s neat this gay club took me on.”

Now Playing: #Olympic Hunger Games: #Sochi #CheersToSochi (by Queer Nation NY)

Latest video from Queer Nation. TW for scenes of violence.
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"The horrifying story of a maniacal despot who runs rough shod over the human right to free speech and assembly. Aided and abetted by his "Partners" in crime, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Dow Chemical, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Panasonic, Samsung, Omega, Visa, Atos, Putin terrorizes Russia’s LGBT community, with a little help from Neo-Nazi friends. Do not expect this to show on NBC.

Created by Scott Wooledge, of #CheersToSochi, the social networking campaign challenge sponsors of the Sochi Olympic games to speak out for global LGBT equality.

(via 70,000 hold hands in Sydney in solidarity with LGBTI Russians | Gay Star News)

A crowd of around 70,000 people held hands on Sunday in a symbolic gesture of solidarity with LGBTI people in Russia who are having their freedom of expression and assembly violated by Russian authorities on the pretext of protecting children from ‘homosexual propaganda.’

(via 70,000 hold hands in Sydney in solidarity with LGBTI Russians | Gay Star News)

A crowd of around 70,000 people held hands on Sunday in a symbolic gesture of solidarity with LGBTI people in Russia who are having their freedom of expression and assembly violated by Russian authorities on the pretext of protecting children from ‘homosexual propaganda.’

(via The Rachel Maddow Show on msnbc)

Rachel Maddow reports on arrests of gay activists in Russia on the day of the Olympic opening ceremonies.

(via Rob Ford overruled on rainbow flag at Toronto City Hall - Toronto - CBC News)

Crack smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wanted the rainbow flag removed from city hall:

"The Olympics, "is about being patriotic to your country, this is not about someone’s sexual preference," he told reporters. "

When his request to have it taken down was shot down, he petulantly returned to his office and placed a Canadian flag in his window.

Meanwhile, several Canadian municipalities are flying rainbow flags in protest of Russian’s anti-gay propaganda law including Vancouver, Whistler, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and St. John’s Newfoundland. Kinda coast to coast, eh?

(via Rob Ford overruled on rainbow flag at Toronto City Hall - Toronto - CBC News)

Crack smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wanted the rainbow flag removed from city hall:

"The Olympics, "is about being patriotic to your country, this is not about someone’s sexual preference," he told reporters. "

When his request to have it taken down was shot down, he petulantly returned to his office and placed a Canadian flag in his window.

Meanwhile, several Canadian municipalities are flying rainbow flags in protest of Russian’s anti-gay propaganda law including Vancouver, Whistler, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and St. John’s Newfoundland. Kinda coast to coast, eh?

Sochi Ban Ki moon Speaks Out On Gay Attacks (by Michael Stone)

"We must all raise our voices against attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people," Mr Ban said after he was asked if he planned to speak to Mr Putin about concerns surrounding gay rights.

"We must oppose the arrests, imprisonments and discriminatory restrictions they face.

"Hatred of any kind must have no place in the 21st century."

A Channel 4 documentary, Hunted, to be broadcast in the Dispatches strand on Wednesday at 10pm, will include the first television reporting of the concerted intimidation and humiliation carried out by the anti-gay groups Parents of Russia and Occupy Paedophilia.

"We filmed these groups with their knowledge, and what I found shocking afterwards was that only a few asked to have their faces disguised. They all believe they are doing the right thing," said Liz Mackean, the investigative journalist who travelled to Russia to make the film for C4.

MOTHER RUSSIA (by LeanandMean)

Probably NSFW

This mean-spirited and hateful law will affect all Russians 365 days of the year, every year,” Foreign Minister John Baird told the Canadian Press. “It is an incitement to intolerance, which breeds hate. And intolerance and hate breed violence.

Will the Sochi Olympics ease the plight of Russia’s gay people? - World - CBC News

While I am no fan of the Harper government, Baird’s statement is dead on.