The Gay Homeland Foundation condemns the actions of the Government of Moscow, directed toward the disruption of the projected procession on 27 May in defense of the rights of gays and lesbians. In recent past the mayor of the City of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov repeatedly spoke out about his intention to prohibit such a procession in any form, justifying his position with concerns about the morals and feelings of the Christian majority of the population of the city. Taking into account the clear statements of the organizers of procession about the political nature of the event, those statements testify about the deep bias of Mr. Luzhkov with respect to gays and lesbians. We consider prohibition to conduct of a peaceful procession of gays and lesbians a clear violation of laws of the Russian Federation, and we are outraged by the arbitrariness of Moscow authorities.
The right to carry out peaceful meetings, demonstrations and processions is guaranteed by Russian constitution and by the law act "About assemblages, meetings, demonstrations, processions and pickettings" applies to all citizens of Russian Federation. Any attempts to place this right under a question are absolutely unacceptable and must unconditionally be condemned by all representatives of the democratic public, independently of the personal opinion about the expediency of a particular event.
Gay Homeland Foundation is deeply concerned by the tense situation in the Russian LGBT-community in connection with the preparation and by conducting of the planned procession in Moscow. From the moment of the declaration of their intentions the organizers of parade encountered the extremely unfriendly reaction of some LGBT-activists, who regarded it necessary to twice publish calls to boycott of this event. We seriously receive the preoccupation of the part of the community about the possible collisions with fascists and religious fanatics, but we also indicate the inalienable right of any mature citizen to independently participate in political activities.
Taking into account the extremely intolerant attitude of the large part of the population to gays and lesbians and instigation of hatred for gays from the side of Russian Orthodox Church, any expression of protest is not only legitimate, but also vitally necessary. Already the mere fact of planning for the gay-parade in Moscow led to an increased interest in the problems of LGBT-community from the side of the media and general public. The passage of public discourse from backyards to public sphere unavoidably leads to an intensified exchange of opinions, which falsely is received as a "splash of homophobia", while in truth the process of sanitation of public opinion is initiated.
Gay Homeland Foundation summons Russian LGBT-activists to overcome personal differences and to return to the rational approach of dealing with each other and with state officials. Movement for the political and civil liberation of gays and lesbians in Russia is reaching new level and it will require the activation of all forces for fighting the common enemy. We hope that representatives of both opposing sides will find in themselves forces to forget past offences and will renew their cooperation on behalf of millions of Russian gays and lesbians. You have great responsibility, do not forget it.
Ron Bila, Viktor Zimmermann
Gay Homeland Foundation
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