Gayrussia.ru

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LGBT Human Rights Project Gayrussia.ru
Gayrussia.ru Logo [1]
Founded 2005
Founder Nikolai Alekseev
Focus Visibility of LGBT and Advocacy for LGBT Rights
Location
Origins Российский правозащитный ЛГБТ-проект GayRussia.Ru
Method Networking, Campaigning, Advocacy, Outreach, Community Media, TV and Radio
Members 25
Key people Nikolai Alekseev (head), Nikolai Baev, Irina Fet, Anton Sutyagin, Yuri Gavrikov
Slogan "Gay Equality. No Compromise!"
Website http://www.gayrussia.eu/en/
Slavic Pride Logo[1]

LGBT Human Rights Project GayRussia.Ru (Gayrussia.ru) is an LGBT Advocate organization in Russia. It is the organizer of numerous public actions in Russia, the most famous being the Moscow Pride and the Slavic Pride. It also sponsored the documentary Moscow Pride '06. From November 2008, Project GayRussia.Ru extended its advocacy work in Belarus where it launched the Slavic Gay Pride movement with its local partner Gaybelarus.by [2][3]

Its website www.gayrussia.ru is a bridge between the Russian speaking LGBT community and the rest of the world featuring Russian LGBT news in English and World LGBT news in Russian.[4][5] It is also being used to advertise the campaigns and the advocacy work of the organization.[6][7][8] www.gayrussia.ru is a frequently read webside about LGBT rights issues in Russia.[9]

Project GayRussia.Ru tracked and revealed the homophobia of various Russian politicians and public figures, especially of the City Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov.[10] The page gives also practical advice for visiting Russia.

Main Goal[edit]

The organization was created to fight discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Russia, headed by Nikolai Alekseev. Its aim is to raise awareness on LGBT issues in the society by launching a series of public campaigns demanding the end of different discrimination faced by the community.

The organization believes that raising LGBT issues in public debates and in the media is the only way to change the view, often biased, of Russian public opinion towards LGBT people.

In February 2009, the organization defined a moto: “Gay Equality, No Compromise” [11]

Organization[edit]

Origins[edit]

Project GayRussia.Ru was launched on 17 May 2005 by Nikolai Alekseev in Moscow on the first International Day Against Homophobia.

Nikolai Alekseev launched the organization because no progress was made since the decriminalization of male homosexuality in Russia in 1993.

Structure[edit]

As a non registered organization, it operates under article 3 of the Federal Law on public association which states : “Public organisations created by citizens can be registered in accordance with the current Federal Law and acquire the rights of registered legal body or can function without state registration and acquiring of the rights of registered legal body”. The organization does not receive any funding and it does not hold neither a bank account nor any property.

Key People[edit]

Nikolai Alekseev is the founder and current leader of Project GayRussia. Among other activists are Nikolai Baev, signing articles published on the website of the organization, he also represented the organization in several LGBT conferences outside Russia, Irina Fet who attempted to marry her partner in Moscow on 12 May 2009, Anton Sutyagin coordinating the operations of the organization in Belarus, Yuri Gavrikov, in charge of the logistics of the campaigns. Dmitri Bartnev is the lawyer of the organization. The organization counts on a rotating group of approximately 20 to 30 activists.

Membership[edit]

Project GayRussia.Ru is a Member of the IDAHO Committee (the International Day Against Homophobia), InterPride (the International Association of LGBT Pride Organizers), the EPOA[12] (European Pride Organizers Association). It is also the founding member of the Slavic Pride movement.

Campaigns[edit]

Project GayRussia.Ru has launched 5 main campaigns since its launch. One was successfully closed in 2008. The most famous ongoing campaign is for Freedom of Assembly which is often referred by media as the "Moscow Pride battle".

Campaign for Freedom of Assembly[edit]

As of July 2009, not a single LGBT street public action has ever been authorized in any city of Russia.[13]

In July 2005, Project GayRussia.Ru launched the Moscow Pride Initiative which was announced by Nikolai Alekseev during a press conference held in Moscow. The mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov said on several occasions that he will not authorize any public action of gays in the streets of the Russian capital. The Moscow Pride took place despite the bans on 27 May 2006, 27 May 2007, 1 June 2008 and 16 May 2009. Activists were arrested every year in front of the main international media. Reports were made all around the world.[14] [15] [16]

For more information about the Moscow Pride planned for 29 May 2010 see Moscow Pride 2010

Project GayRussia.Ru also extended its campaign outside Moscow and attempted to organize street public actions in Tambov (October 2008)[17][18] and Ryazan[19] (April 2009).[20][21] (April 2009).

The organization systematically appealed any of its banned actions through the Russian courts before to send it to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Not a single case was won in Russia. Russian judges denied taking into consideration when judging the different cases the precedent set by the European Court. In the case of Bączkowski v Poland the Court ruled that the ban of the Warsaw Pride in 2005 was a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, which was ratified by the Russian Federation in 1998.

As of July 2009, 168 banned events are pending consideration in 7 different cases at the European Court.[22][23]

Protest organized by GayRussia and TaPaGes in Strasbourg, France, 14 February 2009[1]
Protest organized by GayRussia at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 16 February 2009[1]

On 14 February 2009, activists from Project Gayrussia.ru and Project gaybelarus.by organized together with activists from local LGBT group TaPaGeS, a protest in the centre of Strasbourg asking the European Court to speed up the consideration of their complain, the oldest being sent in January 2007. [24][25]

On 19 July 2006 and 19 July 2007, a protest organized by Project Gayrussia.ru in front of the Iranian Embassy with the aim “to attract attention to the execution of minors and ask for the repeal of death penalty” was authorized by the Prefecture of the Central Administrative area of Moscow.[26][27][28]

The application was not explicitly referring to a gay protest. However, the same protest was banned in July 2008 and July 2009 after the words “and homosexuals” was added in the application.[29]

In April 2009, Project GayRussia.Ru decided to take to the UN Human Rights Committee the ban of the July 2008 protest. The organization aims is to ultimately get a ruling against Russia both at the European Court of Human Rights and at the UN Human Rights Committee.[30][31] In its final report, the Committee expressed its concerns about violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons as well as the systematic discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation including hate speech by public officials, religious leaders and in the media. The Committee also expressed its concerns on the infringement of the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of association.[32]

Campaign for Lifting Ban on blood donation by Gays[edit]

In April 2006, Project GayRussia.Ru asked the General Prosecution and the Minister of Health to amend the instruction on blood donors released by the Minister of Health on 14 September 2001 which includes homosexuals as part of the HIV high risk group.

In July 2006, the General Prosecution recognised that there is nothing in the law which prevents gays from donating their blood.[33] Instead, the law only define a list of disease that can prevent to donate blood. As a result, it asked the Ministry of Health to remove homosexuals from its instruction.[34][35]

In April 2007, Project GayRussia.Ru sent a reminder to the General Prosecution and the Ministry of Health as the instruction had not been amended.

On 14 September 2007, Project GayRussia.Ru organized a protest in front of the Minister of Health asking for the instruction to be amended. The protest took place despite having been banned by the authorities and several activists were arrested. The same day Nikolai Alekseev attempted to give his blood at a transfusion centre in Moscow. He was denied. The denial was recorded by several media who were covering the event.[36][37][38] In May 2008, the Ministry of Health wrote to Project GayRussia.Ru [39] and confirmed that it had finally removed homosexuals from its instruction.[40][41] As of July 2013, this campaign still marks the only discrimination against homosexuals removed in Russia since the decriminalization of male same sex relations in 1993.

Campaign to End Ban on HIV+ Foreigners Entering Country[edit]

In February 2009, Project GayRussia.Ru initiated a campaign for the cancellation of article 10 of the law of 1995 on prevention of distribution of HIV in Russia which bans HIV-positive foreigners from staying in Russia for more than three months. The organization asked the President, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Affairs Minister, to stop requesting foreign visa applicants for their HIV status.[42][43]

Campaign Against Regional Law to forbid propaganda of homosexuality to minors[edit]

On 24 May 2006, the local parliament of the region of Ryazan added to the list of administrative offences: "Section 3.13. Public actions oriented to propaganda of homosexuality (male and female) among minor children".

In March 2009, activists of Project GayRussia.Ru launched a campaign asking the law to be repealed. On 30 March 2009, Nikolai Baev and Ira Fet were arrested in Ryazan and charged for propaganda of homosexuality to minors after they stood next to a local school with banners quoting “Homosexuality is normal “ and “I am homosexual and proud of it”. They were released and sentenced to a fine. [44][45] Nikolai Baev appealed the case of his arrest to the European Court of Human Rights while Irina Fet appealed to the UN Human Rights Committee. Nikolai Alekseev appealed the case of the banned March to the same Court. In January 2010, the Constitutional Court gave a decision against the three activists who claimed that the law was unconstitutional. In April 2010, the UN Human Rights Committee opened the case of Irina Fet and started communicating with both parties. As of June 2010, the European Court of Human Rights has not yet open the case.[46] The organization also appealed for 1 march and 1 picket which were denied. The aim was to be able to challenge the constitutionality of the law at the level of the Constitutional Court and European Court of Human Rights.[47]

Campaign for Same Sex Marriage[edit]

See also Recognition of same-sex unions in Russia

Organization of International Events[edit]

In 2006, Project GayRussia.Ru organized the 1st Moscow Pride Festival from 25 to 27 May.[48]

In 2007, Project GayRussia.Ru organized the 2nd Moscow Pride Festival from 26 to 27 May.[49]

In 2008, Project GayRussia.Ru did not organize a festival. The 3rd Moscow Pride took place in the form of 2 street actions.[50]

In 2009, Project GayRussia.Ru organized the 1st Slavic Pride Festival in Moscow from 14 to 17 May.[51]

In 2010, Project GayRussia.Ru co-organized with Gaybelarus.by the 2nd Slavic Pride Festival in Minsk from 14 to 16 May [52][53][54] and the 5th Moscow Pride on 26 May.[55][56][57]

LGBT Conference in Minsk on 26 September 2009[edit]

Photo of the 5th LGBT Conference in Minsk, Belarus, on 26 September 2009, taken at the Crowne Plazza Hotel[1]

On 26 September 2009, Gayrussia hosted together with its partner gaybelarus an LGBT human rights conference in the 5 star hotel Crown Plaza in Minsk. Participants have come from 9 different cities in Belarus, also from 10 countries in Europe, representing more than 30 organisations. The Conference was hold under the patronage of International Day Against Homophobia. The delegation of the European Commission to Belarus gave its political support to the event. Mr Jean-Eric Holzapfel, head of the delegation, insisted in his opening speech on the necessity to fight homophobia in Europe and in Belarus in particular. Also, representatives of the Swedish, French and Hungarian Embassies as well as a representative of the NGO “Global Rights Defenders” (ex-Swedish Helsinki Committee) were present as observers. The conference delegates discussed and adopted a joint resolution on the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons in Belarus. The text, which will be sent to President Alexander Lukashenko, the government and the parliament, is calling for the ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the prosecution of hate speech, the recognition of equal rights of same-sex couples, the recognition of 17 May as the Day Against Homophobia. It furthers asks the authorities to provide support in organizing Slavic Pride in Minsk next May.[58]

LGBT Barometer Poll[edit]

In 2005, Project GayRussia.Ru initiated a “LGBT barometer” to monitor the attitude of Russians towards homosexuals. The poll was made by the Independent Centre Levada. It took place in Spring 2005, Spring 2006 and Spring 2007. It was discontinued from 2008 and onward due to lack of funding.[59] However, Project GayRussia.Ru ordered a poll in Belarus in October 2009.[60][61]

LGBT News Agency[edit]

Project GayRussia.Ru operates as an informal news agency, providing information directed to the LGBT community in English and in Russian. This channel also served to publicize the activities of the organization. As of December 2008, Project GayRussia.Ru reported the publication of over 5’000 articles and 10 million hits on its website.[62]

Screenshot website Gayrussia.ru[1]

In Russia, its news are often republished by news agency Interfax, radio Echo of Moscow, and internet portal Lenta.ru, Newsru.com.[63][64]

Outside Russia, its news are republished by news agency AFP, AP and numerous LGBT magazines and internet portals such as Tetu, E-llico Illico, Yagg (France), The Advocate, 365gay.com, Queerty (USA), UKgayNews.org.uk (UK), Pinknews (UK).

In 2005, Project GayRussia.Ru established a partnership with the LGBT news site UKGayNews.

In 2009, Project GayRussia.Ru established a partnership with Gay-Radio.ru, the main Gay Radio broadcast in Russian over the internet.

In 2010, Project GayRussia.Ru launched an online radio "GayRussia-radio" which is available on stream on its internet page.

Recognition & Awards[edit]

In March 2006, Project GayRussia.Ru was an Iron Donor of the XXIII ILGA World Conference which took place in Geneva, Switzerland.[65]

In May 2009, Project GayRussia.Ru was awarded the "Golden Heart Award" from the Phnom Penh (Cambodia) LGBT Pride Festival in recognition of its support to the organization.[66]

In December 2009, Project GayRussia.Ru was awarded the Europahøjskolen Prize (Denmark) for its work for the rights of minorities in Russia.[67]

See "Reputation and Awards" of Nikolai Alekseev for other Awards attributed personally to Nikolai Alekseev in the framework of his involvement with Project GayRussia.

A retrospective of the work accomplished by the organization from May 2005 until December 2008 is available under GayRussia Celebrates Three and a Half Years of Gay Activism.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Gayrussia.ru/". Gayrussia.ru/. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  2. ^ "Belarusian, Russian Activists Agree a Slavic Gay Pride for Moscow in May Next Year". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "Slavic Gay Pride will unite Belarusian and Russian activists". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  4. ^ "gayrussia news". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  5. ^ "gayrussia.ru". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "Two Russian Women Seek Marriage in Moscow, Ready for External Lawsuit". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  7. ^ "Russian Gay Activists Appeal to the European Court Over Banned Public Actions in Ryazan". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  8. ^ "Russian Gay Activists Appeal Ban on Iranian Embassy Picket to the UN Human Rights Committee". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "Ranking Alexa.com Web Information company". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  10. ^ "GayRussia Celebrates Three and a Half Years of Gay Activism – and a Million Visitors to Website". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  11. ^ "Lesbians Lose Bid to Get Married". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  12. ^ "?". 
  13. ^ "Moscow bans gays and lesbians from holding demonstration". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  14. ^ "Moscow will never see gay pride parades – Mayor Yury Luzhkov". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  15. ^ "Moscow Mayor Warns Gay Pride Organizers". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  16. ^ "Moscow Mayor Luzhkov Says "No" to Gay Pride Parade". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  17. ^ "Officials ban gay rights demonstrations". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  18. ^ "Tambov Court Confirms Bans of Gay Picket and March Lawful". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  19. ^ "Ryazan court finds gay activists guilty of popularizing homosexuality". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  20. ^ "Ryazan court finds gay activists guilty of popularizing homosexuality". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  21. ^ "March and Picket of Sexual Minorities in Ryazan Contradict Local Laws, City Authorities Say". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  22. ^ "Moscow Gay Pride Not a Priority of the European Court of Human Rights, Russian Activists Told". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  23. ^ "Moscow Pride organisers seek 1.7 million euros in compensation". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  24. ^ "Gay Activists Protest Inaction of European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg Demo". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  25. ^ "Moscou Pride et LGBT TaPaGes Strasbourg (Video)". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  26. ^ "Moscow gays protest against executions of homosexuals in Iran". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  27. ^ "Gay Activists in Moscow Protest Persecution of Iranian Gays". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  28. ^ "Russian gay community will picket the Embassy of Iran to protest against executions of homosexuals". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  29. ^ "Moscow bans demonstration outside Iranian embassy". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  30. ^ "Russian Gay Activists Appeal Ban on Iranian Embassy Picket to the UN Human Rights Committee". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  31. ^ "UN Human Rights Committee Gives Russia 6 Months to Justify Gay Picket Ban in Moscow". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  32. ^ Human Rights Committee, United Nations. "Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under Article 40 of the covenant". Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  33. ^ "Russia to lift Gay Blood ban says Ministry of Health". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  34. ^ "Russia to lift Gay Blood ban says Ministry of Health". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  35. ^ "Russia ends gay blood donor ban". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  36. ^ "Russian Gay Activists Again Demand Gay Blood Donation Ban Repeal". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  37. ^ "Russian Health Ministry Ends Ban on Blood Donations by Gays". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  38. ^ "Video: Донорство крови гомосексуалами в России on YouTube". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  39. ^ "Russian Health Ministry Ends Ban on Blood Donations by Gays". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  40. ^ "Russia Reverses Gay Blood Ban; Canada Still Lags". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  41. ^ "Russia Repeals Gay Blood Ban". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  42. ^ "Gay Activists Ask Russia to End Ban on HIV+ Foreigners Entering Country". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  43. ^ "Activists ask Russia to end HIV ban". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  44. ^ "Ryazan court finds gay activists guilty of popularizing homosexuality". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  45. ^ "Two Moscow Gay Pride Organisers Arrested for ‘Propaganda of Homosexuality’". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  46. ^ "Ryazan court finds gay activists guilty of popularizing homosexuality". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  47. ^ "March and Picket of Sexual Minorities in Ryazan Contradict Local Laws, City Authorities Say". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  48. ^ "(en) Russia, Moscow Pride* 2006". Retrieved 29 July 2009. [dead link]
  49. ^ "Russia: Gays Prepare for More Than Their Fight". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  50. ^ "Third Moscow Gay Pride to Take Place on 1 June". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  51. ^ "GayRussia Celebrates Three and a Half Years of Gay Activism – and a Million Visitors to Website". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  52. ^ "Riot Police Break Up Pride Events in Minsk". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  53. ^ "Belarus bans gay pride, police beat defiant marchers". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  54. ^ "Blogging from Belarus and Slavic Gay Pride marchers". 
  55. ^ "Moscow Bans Gay Pride Parade for Fifth Year in a Row". Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  56. ^ "Third Moscow Gay Pride to Take Place on 1 June - Moscow Gay Pride launched with News Conference Denouncing Mayor’s 5th Ban of the Event". Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  57. ^ "Third Moscow Gay Pride to Take Place on 1 June". Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  58. ^ "Hundred Participants at Minsk Gay Rights Conference – Resolution on LGBT Rights in Belarus Adopted –". Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  59. ^ "Public opinion poll: Majority of Russians oppose gay marriages and a gay President but support ban on sexual orientation discrimination". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  60. ^ "Gays Concerned as Poll Shows 63% of Belarusians OK to Re-Criminalise Homosexuality". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  61. ^ "Minsk More Tolerant Than Moscow on Gay Pride March, Exclusive Poll Reveals". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  62. ^ "GayRussia Celebrates Three and a Half Years of Gay Activism – and a Million Visitors to Website". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  63. ^ "GayRussia Celebrates Three and a Half Years of Gay Activism – and a Million Visitors to Website". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  64. ^ "Алексеев Николай Александрович". Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  65. ^ "ILGA World Conference 2006 Geneva". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  66. ^ "Phnom Penh Pride!". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  67. ^ "Phnom Penh Pride!". Retrieved 29 December 2009. [dead link]

External links[edit]