Russia, Europe

As of 2011, Russia has no criminal law directed at LGBT people and has refused to enact legislation to address discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Public opinion about LGBT topics and people tends to be negative, although there is a visible LGBT community network, including nightclubs and political organizations. In 2010 anti-gay Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov was replaced by another homophobe Sergey Sobyanin who continues to refuse authorizating gay Pride events. As usual attempts to defy the ban and march in public (in 2011) degenerated into violent clashes with anti-gay protestors and as usual police failed to protect gay rights activists. Several were taken to jail but later released. Nevertheless GayRussia continues to resist against repression and inequality.

 

News & Reports:

 

Russian LGBT advocates detained during Moscow protests

Russian authorities on May 31 detained several people who took part in two LGBT rights demonstrations in Moscow. The Associated Press reported that police arrested two advocates during what the news agency described as an “unsanctioned gay pride demonstration” outside Moscow City Hall. Reuters posted a video to its website that shows a handful of… Read more »

Russian police protect some LGBT activists, harass others

Police in Russia harassed or arrested several LGBT rights activists in connection with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17, the Russian LGBT Network reported. But most of the IDAHOT events in 16 Russian cities occurred without disruption. Many of the celebrations were organized as “Rainbow flashmobs” without a public announcement of… Read more »

Watch: Russian same-sex couples marry in Copenhagen

Three Russian same-sex couples have married in Copenhagen, while the city hosts the Eurovision Song Contest. The city had in February announced plans to provide weddings for foreign same-sex couples this week, to mark both Eurovision and 25 years since Denmark’s first civil partnership. Last month it was confirmed that three anonymous Russian couples were… Read more »

Law Enforecment Agencies Chase LGBT-Activistst In Samara For Participation In The Demonstration And Distirbution Of Leaflets

On April 11 LGBT activists from Samara organized a demo devoted to the Day of silence. A week later law enforcement officers started to chase LGBT-activists: as a result, one of the activists was accused of participation in the “unauthorized” demonstration, defiance and distribution of leaflets while using “camouflage”. 5 activists took part in the… Read more »

Samara LGBT Group Sends ”Death Angels” To Streets Telling People About Antigay Violence

An open event organized by Samara social LGBT-movement “Avers” took place on April 6 for the first time this year. Participants of the event named “Death Angels” told Samara residents about the violence LGBT people experience in Samara region. As well as the year before “Death Angels” are people wearing blood-stained clothes who represent unpunished… Read more »

Russian LGBT Groups Relaunch Week Of Action Against Homophobia, Biphobia And Transphobia

Within the “Rainbow dialogue” opening event in Moscow on March, 30 everyone was be able to get acquainted with a diversity of gender and queer identities , communicate with various representatives of the LGBT community and get answers to their questions. The event was disturbed by excessive attention from police, riot squads and by searches… Read more »

Russia: Moscow’s largest gay club closes after string of vigilante attacks

Moscow’s largest gay club will soon close its doors for good, after a string of vigilante attacks, including shootings, violent assaults and the release of poison gas. According to Queerussia, the Central Station club, which is Moscow’s biggest gay club, will shut its doors for good, after owner Andrei Lischinsky resigned as CEO earlier this… Read more »

Organizers of First ‘Gay Olympics’ Tell of Harassment

Days after the closing ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, Russia’s first Open Games for LGBT athletes have been jeopardized by what organizers say is a crackdown that highlights the Russian government’s harsh stance on homosexuality. Organizers of the Russian Open Games — an athletic festival fashioned after the Olympics but intended for the LGBT community… Read more »

Russia: Social network page accused of breaking anti-gay ‘propaganda’ laws acquitted of charges

A woman accused of breaking Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” laws for setting up a pro-LGBT support page has now been acquitted of charges. Last month, Lena Klimova, founder of the LGBT support group ‘Children-404: We Exist,’ was charged for promoting “unconventional sexual relations among minors, resulting in information aimed at developing juveniles to explore unconventional sexualities”.… Read more »

Russia bans foreign gay couples from adopting children

Russia says it will no longer allow foreign couples to adopt Russian children if their country has same-sex marriage – or if the couples are gay. Russian news agency RIA reports the move will affect countries that traditionally adopt large quantities of Russian orphans, including Spain, France and Canada. The ban will apply to married… Read more »

In Addressing Olympic Committee, UN Chief Decries Attacks On Gays

In an address to members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned discrimination and attacks against LGBT people. “We must all raise our voices against attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people,” Ban said. “We must oppose the arrests, imprisonments and discriminatory restrictions they face.” The run-up… Read more »

Channel 4’s Hunted – the Russian gangs who hunt gays for sport

A few days before the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the safety of the Russian gay community is worse than ever. Channel 4’s harrowing new documentary, Hunted, follows the Russian gangs that hunt gay men for sport. Investigative journalist Liz MacKean got inside the St Petersburg branch of Occupy Paedophilia, an anti-gay organisation… Read more »

Three Russian men found guilty of brutally murdering a 29-year-old man they believed was gay

Trio brutally beat and stabbed victim to death in country’s far east region then put his body in a car they doused with gasoline and set on fire Three men in Russia were found guilty on Monday (3 February) of brutally murdering a man because they thought he was gay. They have been sentenced to… Read more »

Russian gay expat: No gay people in Sochi? ‘I laugh because I’ve been to Sochi’

A gay Russian expatriate who sought asylum in the US has spoken out against the Sochi mayor who claimed there are no gay people in his city, saying “I laughed out loud, because I’ve been to Sochi.” In an interview with NYDailyNews, 26-year-old Gleb Vakrushev spoke against Russia’s notorious anti-gay “propaganda” laws, which he said… Read more »

Russian anti-gay gang violence seen for the first time on camera

Forthcoming C4 documentary reveals disturbing methods used by homophobic groups as Olympics near Shocking footage of the violent groups that target gay men and lesbian women in Russia will reveal the dangerous levels of homophobia in the country in the runup to the Sochi Winter Olympics this week. A Channel 4 documentary, Hunted, to be… Read more »

Russian editor fined 50,000 roubles for printing ‘being gay is normal’

A journalist had interviewed a gay geography teacher who had been fired from his position for his sexuality A journalist had interviewed a gay geography teacher who had been fired from his position for his sexuality A Russian editor was fined yesterday (29 January) for printing an interview with a gay teacher who said ‘being… Read more »

The ‘enemy within’: A gay Russian writer talks about homophobia and libel under Putin

“All this noise you guys have been making since the anti-gay law was signed is doing its job.” -Sergey Khazov, writer and journalist In times of crisis, Russia hunts for the enemy within; that’s what Sergey Khazov tells me when I ask him why there is so much anti-gay sentiment in his country. “The recession… Read more »

Homophobia spreads in Russian media

The Russian authorities have been widely criticised for enacting a law banning the promotion of homosexuality among children. A rising tide of homophobia in parts of the media has accompanied and followed the adoption of that law, including attempts to implicate homosexuals in a recent series of terror attacks. The controversy surrounding the so-called “anti-gay”… Read more »

Sir Ian McKellen leads 27 Nobel laureates in protesting Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law

Sir Ian McKellen and his friend the chemist Sir Harry Kroto have penned an open letter to the Russian Government signed by 27 Nobel prize winners, protesting its ban on so-called ‘homosexual propaganda to minors’ Sir Ian McKellen has joined forces with the noted chemist Sir Harry Kroto to co-write a protest letter to the… Read more »

Vice Releases ‘Young And Gay In Putin’s Russia’

When Russian legislators passed anti-gay “propaganda” legislation last summer, they effectively institutionalized homophobia and transphobia throughout the nation. In the months since, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have become targets of violence, with self-proclaimed “vigilantes” subjecting Russian queers to public acts of brutality and private acts of torture. In anticipation of the upcoming 2014… Read more »

Vladimir Putin’s attack on homosexuality is shattering the lives of Russians

Nikita Guryanov, a high-school student in Moscow, has been dubbed a “propagandist”. But what is the hateful doctrine that he is spreading? He summed it up best in his YouTube show: “No matter who you are – gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender – you are a human being,” he said. “You are an individual. You… Read more »

Russia’s ‘anti-gay’ law pushes gay community into shadows

Moscow, Russia (CNN) — Pavel Petel was once an open, flamboyant bisexual man from Ukraine who built up a career as a model, performance artist and DJ in Russia. Photographs of him semi-naked while riding a horse and brandishing a gun are a feast for web surfers. But after he and his partner Sergey Ostrikov… Read more »

Orthodox Church of Russia: Homosexuality must be banned and excluded from society

Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church has proposed a referendum on banning homosexuality. On Friday, spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin pointed to polls showing more than a third of Russians view homosexuality as an illness. “There is no question that society should discuss this issue since we live in a democracy,” Mr Chaplin told the online edition of the… Read more »

Russia’s Church urges gay sex ban referendum

Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church proposed Friday a referendum on banning gay relations in the face of Western pressure over human rights ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. The Church’s abrupt intervention came amid a growing debate over whether the Kremlin should mount a stronger defence of traditional values that many in the overwhelmingly… Read more »

Gay-Rights Advocates Prepare For The Sochi Olympics

Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Sochi this past weekend to inspect and oversee preparations for the Winter Olympic Games, which are now just a month away. He has made no secret of his plan to use the Games as a showcase for modern Russia. International human-rights and L.G.B.T. activists, however, are focussed on raising… Read more »

Far From Russia’s Biggest Cities, Being Gay Means Being Always Under Threat

Konstantin was kidnapped and threatened with death. Mikhail was beaten by a friend when he came out. Oksana fears she may be forced to flee Russia. These are their stories. Tolyatti, Russia — The last two years have been brutal for Konstantin Golava, a 22-year-old environmental activist and the only publicly out gay person in… Read more »

Photos: What It’s Like In The Gay Bar At Ground Zero Of The Russian Olympics

It’s hard to imagine running a gay club under the threat of government crackdown, terrorist attacks and abduction, but somehow the owners of the Mayak in Sochi are soldiering on. Reuters photographer Thomas Peter paid a visit to the nightclub and snapped a few shots, as well as portraits of brave members of the LGBT… Read more »

Gay Russians are equal? One club asks Putin to take closer look.

In an open letter to Vladimir Putin, the owner of Moscow’s biggest gay nightclub says it has come under repeated attack recently, but that police refuse to help. Moscow — President Vladimir Putin contends that Russia’s gay citizens are “absolutely full-fledged and equal in rights” with all other Russians. But critics argue that’s legalistic window-dressing… Read more »

Moscow gay club attacked with poison gas

Four attacks have been made on Russia’s Central Station nightclub since the gay propaganda law was enforced this summer A Moscow gay club was attacked with poisonous gas, forcing several people to seek medical attention. On Saturday night (23 November), unknown attackers sprayed the chemical weapon inside club Central Station. Around 500 clubbers were escorted… Read more »

One Gay Man’s Russia

Asylum seeker again shares his story with D.C. audience In the comfortable second-floor meeting space of Dupont Circle’s Le Mirch restaurant Wednesday evening, Nov. 13, the conversation had zero to do with anything so pleasant as fine dining. Instead, a small handful of organizers tried to give a group of about 20 locals better insight… Read more »

Russian Government Spies On LGBT Activists To Portray Them As Part Of Western “Homosexualist Invasion”

Human rights activists warn these “KGB-like” tactics are an ominous escalation in the assault on LGBT rights ahead of the Olympic games. Russian officials bugged a private strategy meeting convened by Russian LGBT activists and four major international human rights organizations in October, an intensification of the campaign to clamp down on LGBT rights ahead… Read more »

Gay South African Student Latest Victim of Russian Skinhead Violence

One of the ugliest faces to emerge in the wake of Russia’s gay propaganda law is that of a group of neo-Nazis, who proudly post videos of gay men being tortured on social media. Although it is almost inconceivable today, that face got uglier in a video posted by the group featuring the racist taunt… Read more »

Russian Gay Activists Wrapping up Visit to Portland

A pair of gay rights activists from the Russian city of Archangel are wrapping up a five-day visit to their sister city of Portland, Maine. They’ve been trying to raise awareness about the struggles faced by Russia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – or LGBT – community, in light of the recent rise in anti-gay… Read more »

Russia Anti-Gay Attack Leaves One Injured After Shooters Open Fire at LGBT Center in St. Petersburg

An attack on an LGBT center in St. Petersburg left one person injured, after two men opened fire on a weekly meeting Sunday evening. The two shooters entered the Laskai Center, a safe space for LGBT citizens in one of Russia’s largest cities. Wielding traumatic pistols – high powered, widely sold air guns that are… Read more »

These Gay Russian Love Stories Will Not Be Televised

Sometimes the absurd details are what stand out the most when Russians describe the effects of the new and ill-defined anti-gay “propaganda” law on everyday life. One gay couple I spoke with, newly arrived in the U.S., recently posted photos to Facebook of their wedding day at New York City Hall. Their parents back in… Read more »

These Gay Russian Love Stories Will Not Be Televised

Sometimes the absurd details are what stand out the most when Russians describe the effects of the new and ill-defined anti-gay “propaganda” law on everyday life. One gay couple I spoke with, newly arrived in the U.S., recently posted photos to Facebook of their wedding day at New York City Hall. Their parents back in… Read more »

Sochi’s Furtive Gay Clubs

As Sochi prepares for the Olympic Games, the city’s gay scene is quietly thriving—by keeping mum about Putin’s crackdowns on LGBT rights. Anna Nemtsova reports. With just over 100 days left before the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, the city was buzzing with activity. And so was Sochi’s only gay club, Mayak (or “The Beacon”).… Read more »

Gay rights protest in St. Petersburg ends in clashes, arrests

St Petersburg, Russia (Reuters) – Police arrested 67 people after a fight broke out between gay rights activists and their opponents at a demonstration in the Russian city of St Petersburg on Saturday. Gay rights campaigners in Russia have held several small protests since the adoption of a law in June banning homosexual “propaganda” directed… Read more »

Gay rights rally in St. Petersburg ends in violence

Scuffle starts after anti-gay protesters take rainbow flag away from a woman A gay rights rally in St. Petersburg ended in scuffling. According to the Associated Press, dozens of gay rights protestors were confronted by approximately 200 conservative and religious activists. A fight broke out after one conservative activist ripped a rainbow flag out of… Read more »

Fabulous Queer Russia News Portal Launches English-Language Si

Ruslan Porshnev, pictured, is a gay Russian activist with an excellent command of English and was responsible for organizing the Queer Russia group on Google in March 2011. It’s a terrific listserv of Russian and Western activists sharing information and ideas, which I’ve been a part of since it started. In recent weeks, Ruslan launched… Read more »