Gay Activists March Despite Anti-Gay Bill Passed in St. Petersburg, Russia

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Earlier this year, St. Petersburg, Russia’s Legislative Assembly passed an anti-gay bill that bans Gay Pride events, LGBT organizations, and anything considered to be “promotion” of homosexuality. The penalty for breaking these laws is fines of $16,000 on individuals and up to $160,000 on legal entities. In the bill, homosexuality and pedophilia are likened. St. Petersburg governor Georgy Poltavchenko is expected to give consent to exercise the bill and then have it printed so it can go into effect after 10 days. There are similar bills being considered in Moscow and across the country. There is much uproar by the LGBT community in Russia because it goes against a lot of the progress that LGBT groups have made. “It’s a collapse of the policy of gay groups collaborating with authorities in St. Petersburg for several years. GayRussia and Moscow Pride have been fighting against similar laws since 2009 without anyone’s helps. We have always said that this case can only be legally resolved when the UN Human Rights Committee and especially the European Court of Human Rights delivers a binding verdict against similar laws in Ryazan region in the case initiated by activists of GayRussia and Moscow Pride who were harshly criticized for their actions against these laws by organizations in St. Petersburg,” said Nikolai Alekseev, Founder of GayRussia and Moscow Pride. Despite the laws, gay activists rallied this Saturday to protest against the bill. [TR]

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