Moscow’s mayor bans gay parade, cites violence

The mayor of Moscow said the city will not allow gay Pride marches to take place on this year’s May Day holiday, Agence France-Presse reported Wednesday. Mayor Yury Luzhkov has been an opponent of gay pride marches, once calling them “Satan’s work.” A spokesperson for the mayor told reporters that a permit for the parade is being denied because of Russian society’s opposition to the “gay lifestyle and philosophy.” He also said the government wanted to avoid what it assumed would be widespread violence as a reaction to the parade.

Nicolai Alexeyev, the leader of LGBT activist group Gay Russia, has been working to get the mayor to allow the events. An unsanctioned parade in May 2007 to commemorate the decriminalization of homosexuality ended in violent gay bashing by ultranationalists.

“This is not a question of security,” Alexeyev told AFP. “It is only a question of the personal hatred of the Moscow mayor toward gay people.” (The Advocate)

A pink island in Moscow? for gays?

Bigger, taller, better, this seems to be the mantra with most building designers these days. From simply grand to downright ridiculous, we have seen many concepts in building designs, but the Crystal Island evokes only one response- WOW. Designer Sir Norman Foster has conceptualized a building that will be built in Moscow. The Crystal Island will be one giant Christmas Tree that will stand 1500ft high, occupy 27 million square feet and cost almost $4 billion dollar. Described as a “city within a building” it will feature 900 apartments, 3000 hotel rooms, an international school for 500 students, cinemas, a theater, a sports complex and more. This eco-friendly building will generate electricity using exterior solar panels and wind turbines. To economize on heating bill, the building will feature dynamic enclosure panels that can be adjusted to allow sunlight to penetrate deep into the structure.
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Russia Russia Russia Gays united

Moscow gay pride organizer Nikolai Alekseev will soon face charges of slander and insult for allegedly outing former parliament member Alexander Chuev on live national television, reports the UK Gay News.

Speaking on the NTV channel’s talk show K Baryeru! on June 21, Alekseev reportedly called the state Duma deputy a “gay, coward, and hypocrite.” It was the first outing of a gay politician in Russia.

Six days later, Chuev sent a complaint to the General Prosecution department questioning whether Alekseev breached articles 129 (slander), 130 (insult), and 282 (incitement of hatred) of the Russian Criminal Code. The case was transferred to Moscow prosecution, which began a criminal investigation on July 31.

The criminal case against the Moscow pride organizer is expected to arrive in court shortly. The court will have to give the final verdict whether Alekseev committed any crime under Russian law.

According to UK Gay News, Alekseev recently said, “The criminal case against me was conducted with multiple breaches of legislation and the investigators failed to find any prove of my guilt. Until the court hearing I have no right to disclose the details of the case and the proof that is [to be] used against me. But during the court process, many details will become known.”

Alekseev added that he believes the court has no other choice but to find him innocent, “though in the current condition of pressure from authorities I can not exclude that the decision of the court will not be fair which is not anymore a surprise to us. In any case we are ready to lead this case up to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.”

Regardless of the outcome, the pride organizer feels the end justified the means: “We reached the main goal of defeating Mr. Chuev in Duma elections in December.”