Perm, a city in western Russia, is breaking convention by debating whether or not to allow a Pride parade. There is a law against “gay propaganda”, but lobbyists and LGBT activists are arguing that the law impedes on their freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
Pride parades are banned in many Russian regions, such as Yekaterinberg, Ufa, Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk and Kurgan. In most of these cases, authorities cite a Russian child-protection law that bans the promotion of ‘non-traditional relationships’.
However, the Perm authorities didn’t immediately refer to this law when the LGBT community petitioned for a Pride parade. Yuri Utkin, head of the Perm city council, described a dilemma: “The right of citizens to freedom of peaceful assembly is conflicting with the need to protect children from information that could harm their health, moral and spiritual development.”
Although some are taking hope from the fact that the parade application is being considered, others complain that it’s not enough. Yelena, a student involved with Perm Pride, said, “We hope the Perm authorities will see sense and recognize homophobic legislation should not have the same standing as a fundamental right to expression and freedom to assembly.”
The Perm officials will further discuss the decision on November 7. Read more at Gay Star News!