Details & Information:
New York Vigil
Contact: Brendan Fay
Email: email@example.comWhat: Begin Stoli boycott and dump vodka down the sewer
Where: Russian Consulate, 9 E. 91st Street
Time: Noon to 1:00 pm
San Francisco Vigil
Contacts: Pastor Robert Goldstein
What: Begin Stoli boycott and dump vodka down the sewer
Where: Russian Consulate, 2790 Green Street
Time: 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
"We would welcome the Russian government's affirmation of its LGBT citizens and a genuine commitment to respect their human rights. I am proud to stand in solidarity with LGBT Russians as they being their journey to equality and fairness."
While homosexuality is not illegal, the gay community continued to suffer societal stigma and discrimination. Medical practitioners reportedly continued to limit or refuse their access to health services due to intolerance and prejudice. According to recent studies, male homosexuals were often refused work due to their sexuality. Openly gay men were targets for skinhead aggression, which was often met with law enforcement indifference.In May gay rights activists hosted a small international conference in Moscow on combating homophobia; however, the mayor of Moscow and the courts denied their applications to hold a gay pride parade. According to Human Rights Watch, on May 27, several dozen Russian lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender protestors, accompanied by Russian and foreign supporters, including members of the European and German parliaments, sought to hold two successive protest rallies, one to lay flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin wall, and the second a vigil at city hall in support of the freedoms of assembly and expression.
Organizers decided to hold these events after a court upheld Mayor Yuriy Luzkhov's ban on a march they planned for that day. At both events hundreds of antigay protesters, including skinheads and nationalists attacked the participants, beating and kicking many, while throwing projectiles and chanting homophobic slogans.Police intervened only belatedly, failing to protect demonstrators from violence; observers noted that police inaction aggravated the violence.In protest of a large lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender "open party" held in Moscow on April 30, several hundred protestors gathered outside a night club, shouting threats and throwing bottles, rocks, and eggs at the attendees. The following night at least 100 protestors gathered outside another gay club, conducting themselves in a similar manner. While human rights groups protested the organized nature of what appeared to be a campaign against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, public officials were notably reluctant to condemn the violence, with one Duma deputy accusing gays of provoking Orthodox believers.Gay rights organizations were few and often operated "under the radar."Projects working with homosexuals and educating them about HIV and sexual health continued to be scarce. In April, the Moscow city Duma urged President Putin to restrict the activities of foreign NGOs that fight HIV/AIDS, saying they encouraged pedophilia, prostitution, and drug use among teenagers. The Moscow Duma also accused the Ministry of Education of aiding NGO activities. The State Duma, however, responded at the federal level with a clear statement supporting the urgent need to prevent HIV/AIDS.