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 Conservatism on Gay Issues Provokes Clash With West

Gay marriage is increasingly legal in Europe. Gay parades are massive events in European capitals. So how are gays faring in Russia, sometimes seen as Europe’s largest nation? In Russia, Max “The Hatchet” cruises gay Internet dating sites and then lures young gay men for “re-education” sessions at the hands of his “neo-Nazis.” Max’s group,… Read more »

Comment: With all eyes on anti-gay Russia, there are three countries with a shocking need for coverage

Paul Canning looks critically at media coverage of the LGBT situation in Russia, highlighting other areas around the globe where hate crimes and violence have also soared, yet where media coverage is still minimal. It’s Russia, Russia, Russia when it comes to ‘foreign gay news’ these days. But it’s a much bigger and badder gay… Read more »

Russian LGBT Network: Anti-gay laws have increased homophobic violence in Russia

Activists in Russia say the controversial anti-gay “propaganda” laws passed in June have led to an increase in homophobic violence, with those responsible for the attacks no longer fearing legal reprisals. President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as… Read more »

Russia: First person to be convicted under anti-gay ‘propaganda’ law arrested by his own parents

24-year-old Dmitry Isakov may become the first gay rights activist to be convicted under Russia’s controversial “gay propanda” laws, after he was attacked and arrested by his own parents at a solo campaign in July. On July 30, Mr Isakov staged a one-man protest in the centre of the town of Kazan, Russia, holding up… Read more »

Russian law isolates gay teenagers

In Moscow — Like other gay teenagers here, Maxim Moiseyev grappled with his identity alone, frightened and uninformed. Adults either ignored him or admonished him. Classmates reviled him. And a new law that prohibits minors from hearing anything positive about homosexuality has only made life harder. Maxim, a 16-year-old Muscovite, is among the few Russian… Read more »

Russia Raids Nikolia Alexeyev’s Home; People Encouraged To Turn In Gay Neighbors

Police raided the home of Nikolia Alexeyev, considered Russia’s most outspoken gay rights activist, after a lawmaker lodged a complaint against him. According to Reuters, Alexeyev’s home was ransacked by Russian prosecutors. Alexeyev said that the officials removed several pieces of electronic equipment. “Do you think this is all legal?” he told reporters pointing to… Read more »

Eight Horrific and Uplifting Stories About Being Gay in the New Russia

On January 25, Kremlin-friendly journalist Anton Krasovsky invited a bunch of drag queens on his show on KontrTV, a Kremlin-owned channel. It was his personal protest against a proposed law [1] in the Russian parliament, the Duma, which would ban distributing “gay propaganda” to minors. The law’s broad definition of “propaganda” would prohibit publicly discussing… Read more »

Understanding Russia’s homophobia

Because there’s been so much discussion about Russia lately, and because I’ve written quite a bit about the immediate context of Russia’s anti-gay laws and political difficulties (most recently 1, 2, 3, and 4), I thought it might be useful to back up a bit and provide some of the deeper background for these issues… Read more »

Analysis: Why life is getting harder for LGBT Russians has spoken to a PhD student originally from Moscow and now living in the UK on the challenges facing Russia’s LGBT community. Anna Grigoryeva was among several hundred people, including Stephen Fry, who gathered in Westminster on Saturday to protest against Russia’s homophobic censorship laws. She says it was important to attend the demonstration… Read more »

Gay Russian man seeks refugee status in Vancouver

Maxim Zhuravlev says stay at Vancouver homeless shelter safer than life in Russia A gay refugee claimant living in Vancouver says he fled to Canada from his native Russia to escape being persecuted for his sexual orientation. Maxim Zhuravlev is staying at a homeless shelter in downtown Vancouver, but says the conditions are far safer… Read more »

Gay Russian teens communicate in secret to avoid law on ‘propaganda’

Young homosexuals faced with hatred and rejection in Russia turn to closed internet forum Deti-404 for support Only one person knew that Svetlana was gay when she wrote to Deti-404, a Russian support group for lesbian teenagers. In her letter, the 16-year-old described a life of hiding her sexuality in a small town in central… Read more »

How Russia’s science of sex threatens gays

Twenty-five years ago, when I lived in Russia, I was in a restaurant with some friends. The meal abruptly ended when we were escorted, at gunpoint, into a back room. The restaurateurs-cum-criminals wanted us to pay them a few hundred dollars or else they would inform our families and employers that we were “pederasts” and… Read more »

Video: Russian paratroopers violently attack lone gay rights activist in St Petersburg

A lone gay rights activist, Krill Kalugin, was assaulted by a violent group of Russian paratroopers in the city that was the birth place of the country’s anti-gay legislation. Mr Kalugin was holding a rainbow banner in St Petersburg that read “This is propagating tolerance” when he was attacked. President Vladimir Putin signed the law… Read more »

Russian Sports Minister: Anti-Gay Law Will Be Enforced At Sochi Games

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko on Thursday declared that Russia’s anti-gay law will be enforced at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. “The law talks not about banning non-traditional orientation but about other things, about propaganda and implicating minors,” Mutko reportedly told R-Sport news agency. “No one is banning an athlete with a non-traditional sexual… Read more »

First tourists arrested for ‘gay propaganda’ in Russia free to go

Four Dutch filmmakers were not charged after making a documentary about gay rights in the Russian city of Murmansk – the footage was then seized by police Four tourists who were arrested in Russia for ‘gay propaganda’ were told they were free to go today (22 July). Due to an ‘irregularity in the minutes’, the… Read more »

Olympic committee calls for acceptance of all athletes at Winter Olympics despite Russian anti-gay laws

Responding to human rights groups, the International Olympic Committee has released a statement calling for the acceptance of all athletes in the wake of Russia’s recently passed anti-gay legislation. The statement was released in the face of concern from human rights groups that LGBT people will not be safe in Russia for the 2014 Sochi… Read more »

IOC issues statement on Olympics in Russia

The International Olympic Committee has released a statement to Windy City Times acknowledging the passage of anti-gay laws in Russia and calling for the acceptance of all athletes. The winter Olympic games are in Sochi, Russia in 2014, and there have been calls for a boycott of the event from some LGBT activists. The IOC… Read more »

Russian court rules St Petersburg Gay Pride was legal

After all the people that marched in the Russian city for gay rights was arrested, a Russian court rules police violated their right to freedom of assembly A Russian court ruled yesterday (10 July) the arrests made at Gay Pride in St Petersburg were not illegal. When every person who attended the protest was arrested,… Read more »

Putin: The Czar of Homophobia

Russian anti-gay repression condemned Violation of Russian constitution & European human rights law Sign the petition against homophobic repression in Russia London’s LGBT Pride Parade last Saturday included protests against Russia’s new anti-gay law and condemnation of President Vladimir Putin as the “Czar of Homophobia”. See photos of the Peter Tatchell Foundation contingent at London… Read more »

Russian gay activist attacked, arrested by his own parents

A 24-year-old male student is reportedly missing after he was arrested twice by Kazan Police A gay activist is missing after he was attacked and arrested by his own parents in Russia. Dmitry Isakov, a 24-year-old student, was arrested twice in Kazan in the western Republic of Tatarstan on 29 and 30 June. The young… Read more »

Russia’s upper house approves ‘gay propaganda’ bill, will become law

Anyone who offends a religious believer could be sent to jail as the Senate also makes it illegal for foreign gay couples Russia’s upper house of parliament passed the nationwide ‘gay propaganda’ bill yesterday (26 June), leaving it to President Vladimir Putin who supports it to sign into law. The Senate approved the measure by… Read more »

Putin warns West not to interfere on ‘gay issues’ in Russia

Russian President says despite a ‘gay gag’ bill is set to become law, it does not infringe on the rights of LGBT people Vladimir Putin has warned Western countries not to interfere on Russia’s plan to ban ‘gay propaganda’. Speaking in Finland yesterday (25 June), the president said he does not instruct other countries on… Read more »

Labour MEP Michael Cashman: Putin’s ‘hate speech’ has resulted in the ‘barbaric killing’ of gay Russian men

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution condemning Russian MPs for passing a draconian homophobic censorship law, with Labour MEP Michael Cashman saying “hate speech” from President Putin and others has resulted in the “barbaric killing of gay men” Several violent homophobic killings have taken place in Russia since the start of 2013 – the… Read more »

Human rights groups condemn passage of Russian anti-gay ‘propaganda’ law

Human rights groups have heavily condemned the passage of a law yesterday through the Russian State Duma, which would ban “homosexual propaganda” across the country, as “outrageous and incredibly dangerous”. The Russian Duma gave final approval to a bill to ban “homosexual propaganda” to minors, and the media. Similar laws have already been passed regionally… Read more »

Why Is Russia So Homophobic?

Communist-era justifications for bigotry don’t make sense anymore. What’s behind lawmakers’ opposition to gays? The Russian Duma unanimously approved a law on Tuesday that prohibits the distribution of homosexual “propaganda” to minors. Holding gay pride events, speaking in defense of gay rights, or equating gay and heterosexual relationships can now result in fines of up… Read more »

Russian parliament passes bill that imposes fines for gay pride rallies, info sharing

Moscow – A bill that stigmatizes gay people and bans giving children any information about homosexuality won overwhelming approval Tuesday in Russia’s lower house of parliament. Hours before the State Duma passed the Kremlin-backed law in a 436-0 vote with one abstention, more than two dozen protesters were attacked by hundreds of anti-gay activists and… Read more »

Russia: LGBT film festival fined under ‘foreign agent’ laws

A Russian LGBT film festival has been targeted under “foreign agent” laws, and fined a substantial amount for allegedly failing to declare foreign funding, which organisers deny having received. The Bok o Bok (Side by Side) Festival, which originated in the city of St Petersburg, was established in 2007, and recently expanded to several other… Read more »

Nikolai Alekseev, gay Russian activist, attacked by masked skinheads

Three masked men attacked Nikolai Alekseev, who received minor injuries, as he was about to board a train leaving from Kostroma to Moscow, Russia Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia was attacked, as he was about to board a train in Kostroma heading for Moscow, Russia. Three skinheads dressed in black, wearing white… Read more »

Side by Side LGBT Film Festival: Guilty and Fined 12,500 Euros for Violating “Foreign Agents” Law, Russia

Saint Petersburg, Russia – Magistrates Court Judge Oleg Camaldinov took a mere 10 minutes of ‘deliberation’ to declare Side by Side LGBT Film Festival guilty for not registering as a ‘foreign agent’. The judge, even after defence lawyers had presented 4 hours of solid and incontrovertible argument, was not to be persuaded opting to side… Read more »

Russian villagers suspected of homophobic killing

(AFP) – Russian villagers are suspected of kicking and stabbing to death a neighbour in the remote far eastern region of Kamchatka because he was gay, investigators said Monday. Three men from the village of Zaporozhye allegedly killed a man last Wednesday because he “had a non-traditional sexual orientation,” the Investigative Committee said in a… Read more »

St. Petersburg Conference On The Protection Of Children From Homophobia And Trensphobia

On May 31st – June 1st, 2013 a conference “Protecting Children from Homophobia and Transphobia” be held in St.Petersburg by Parents’ Movement and Alliance of Straights for LGBT Equality, supported by the Russian LGBT Network. The two-day conference will be dedicated to Children’s Day, which is observed on June 1st. LGBT youth in Russia are… Read more »

Dozens Of Activists Arrested At Moscow Gay Pride

Authorities in Moscow arrested dozens of gay rights activists on Saturday as they attempted to hold a Gay Pride demonstration. Sky News reported that at least 30 activists were being held by police after they defied a city order banning such protests. The activists targeted Russia’s lower house of parliament, where lawmakers are considering a… Read more »

Smoke pellets and stones thrown at gay activists in St Petersburg

Russian city’s LGBT population holds demonstration for IDAHO despite propaganda law. Thugs attack Over 150 LGBT people and their friends have braved homophobic and transphobic thugs to demand their rights at a protest in St Petersburg, Russia. The protest for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) today (17 May) was in the city’s main… Read more »

I came out because gay people in Russia are suffering – it’s time for courage

A young man has been brutally murdered in a homophobic attack. We must challenge the prejudice gripping this country Vlad Tornovy was murdered in Volgograd, the town where the course of the second world war was reversed 70 years ago. The suspects lived in the same block of flats as the 22-year-old. When questioned, one… Read more »

Russia’s gays fear more violence after brutal murder

Moscow (Reuters) – They beat him. They shoved beer bottles in his anus. They tried to set him on fire. Then they crushed his head with a heavy stone. A 23-year-old man in Russia’s southern city of Volgograd was tortured and killed after revealing he was gay during a drinking session last Thursday night, investigators… Read more »

Russia: Parades to demonstrate for gay rights in Moscow and St Petersburg, despite anti-gay law

Parades of gay rights demonstrators will take to the streets of Moscow and St Petersburg today, despite a law in the latter, which prohibits the “promotion” of homosexuality. Described on Facebook as a “Rainbow Mayday”, and a “rainbow column”, advice on the page suggests that, in St Petersburg, demonstrators should join with a sanctioned “democratic… Read more »

Gay activist badly beaten as Russian city bans pride

Syktyvkar’s authorities, capital of Russia’s republic of Komi, have banned a gay pride march as it ‘promoted homosexuality’, while its organizer was badly beaten The Syktyvkar city administration, capital of the Russian republic of Komi announced that its banning a planned gay-pride parade. In a statement released yesterday (25 March) the authorities explained that the… Read more »

Russia’s New Normal

Moscow — It’s the sort of thing one hates hearing from one’s child. “You know, mom,” my 11-year-old daughter said, “It makes me particularly nervous when people make fun of gays.” In Russia, everyone is talking about homosexuality these days. I knew exactly what she meant, and I said so: I’d felt the same way… Read more »

Iran, Russia and Egypt threaten to scupper UN women’s declaration due to gay rights opposition

An alliance made up of Iran, Russia and Egypt has threatened to derail a UN declaration urging an end to violence against women and girls by objecting to language concerning LGBT rights and reproduction. Reuters reports delegates to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women are racing to reach a deal on a… Read more »

Vast majority of Russians oppose gay marriage and gay pride events – poll

As the Russian parliament prepares for its second reading of a nationwide ban on ‘gay propaganda’ to minors, polls show that an overwhelming majority of Russians oppose both same-sex marriage and gay pride events. Around 85 percent of adult Russians said they were strongly against a law that would allow same-sex marriage, the Levada Public… Read more »