Moscow Pride is scheduled for May 28, 2011. Because of the recent European Court ruling, activists in Moscow, including Moscow Pride Chief Organiser, Nikolai Alekseev, are hopeful that for the first time, Moscow Pride will be an officially sanctioned event.
However, the new Mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, has made it clear that his position isn’t far from that of the previous mayor, Yury Luzhkov, who desribed gay marches as “satanic”.
Sobyanin’s language was less inflammatory as he stated that, “Moscow does not need this at all and I am not a supporter,” in a radio interview.
Activists do not know whether he intends to reject the group’s application or whether he was saying this for political reasons.
I spoke to Alekseev earlier this year, on the heels of the European court ruling and he was enthusiastic and hopeful, and invited the world to celebrate the first sanctioned pride in Moscow’s history.
And while Sobyanin’s remarks certainly make this less of a sure thing, Moscow Pride organisers are going to press ahead with plans and an applicaiton. Meanwhile, they await the results of Russia’s appeal to the European court.
Pride Organizer added that “We are currently waiting for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights on the appeal of the Russian government to address the House on the illegality of the ban of three gay pride events in Moscow in 2006-2008. I think that by May the Finale decision will come into force and then the Moscow authorities will no longer have any legal way to ban our event”
Nikolai Alekseev said that he understands the difficult position of Sergei Sobyanin to be the first Mayor to allow a Gay Pride March in Russia but he noted that: “We do not ask the mayor to love us. We ask the authorities to comply with the current legislation. And even if the mayor has a personal negative perceptions of LGBT people, as an official, he is obliged to comply with the court decision and the laws, which are now on our side”