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Application to hold gay parade submitted to Moscow City Hall

13 May 2013 

Source: (info)
Moscow City Hall has received an application to hold a gay parade in the city centre to mark the 20th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Russia, reports Interfax. According to one of the leaders of the LGBT movement Nikolai Alekseev, activists submitted the application to hold a march and rally on Saturday 25 May or Sunday 26 May. The proposed route of the march is along Myasnitskaya Ulitsa from Chistye Prudy to Lubyanka, with the rally in Revolution Square opposite the Bolshoi Theatre. Fewer than 1,000 people are expected to attend.

In addition, reports, the organisers of the gay parade are going to submit an application to hold a picket on the day of the rally, in Tverskaya Square and Novopushkinsky Garden. Alekseev also told the agency that activists were going to seek approval for holding a gay parade in Khimki, and should they fail to get approval to hold the event in Moscow or the Greater Moscow area the organisers would look at Moscow's "Hyde Park" free speech zones as a possible venue.

Moscow City Hall told Interfax that the application by members of the LGBT movement would be considered. However, Head of the Moscow Government Department of Regional Security Alexei Mayorov said that City Hall's position on similar events had not changed and there was no reason for it to change "in the foreseeable future." Mayorov declined to comment when asked whether the activists would be allowed to hold their event in one of Moscow's "Hyde Parks."

Nikolai Alekseev has been submitting applications to hold gay parades in Moscow for several years. So far none of them have been approved by the authorities and they have in the main gone ahead without official approval, and have been accompanied by clashes with anti-gay activists and arrests.

There are also plans to hold an event in May in defence of the rights of sexual minorities in St. Petersburg. The Vykhod (Coming Out) organisation has said the St. Petersburg authorities have given approval for the holding of a rally in Marsovo Polye (Field of Mars) on 17 May, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.