Russia debates over LGBT rights in yet another pride season

27/05/2010

Public debate on whether or not to allow gay prides in Russia is currently going on in newspapers, blogs and TV-channels.

Gay Pride Organizer Nikolai Alekseev and Executive Director of the Russian LGBT Network discussed on May 17 2010 with homophobe opponents in the live TV-debate the “borders of Human Rights and Immoral”. Have a look here (only in Russian).

A study on the attitude towards gays and lesbians in Russia, asking 2000 respondents in 44 regions, conducted by the sociological research institute FOM (only in Russian) in April 2009, showed quite a diverse picture. 36% of respondents stated that they do not disapprove of gay and lesbian people; whereas 43% said they do. Only 11% stated that they knew somebody personally who was gay or lesbian; whereas 87% had no homosexual acquaintances. The latter explains why stereotypes and prejudices against LGBT-people are still so prevailing. Fact-based information and awareness raising is highly needed. Though, not overall positive, these figures show that the public opinion in Russia is more sophisticated than often portrayed.

Despite these figures and a broader public debate Moscow’s Mayor Luzhkov is keeping the tradition of banning the Gay Pride in Moscow, planned for May 29. A last decision on an appeal to the ban is expected from the Tverskij Court on May 28.

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