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:


Gay clubbing and stoic activism in Russia’s homophobic heartland

Coda Story report from the industrial city of Samara where the one remaining LGBT rights organisation provides invaluable support – discreetly It is late in Samara, an industrial hub in central Russia and the city’s only gay nightclub is proving difficult to find. In a dark car park there are none of the telltale signs:… Read more »

The Art of Reading Russian Obituaries

A journalist was killed in St. Petersburg last week, but no one called for an immediate and full investigation. No one seemed to suspect that he was killed because of his work. In a country of frequent and varied violence, this was a different kind of crime, a murder that dare not speak its name.… Read more »

Calvin Klein accused of breaking ‘gay propaganda’ law in Russia

A new advert for the fashion giant’s latest fragrance has sparked outrage in Russia. Russian authorities says they have received a number of complaints for a new ad for Calvin Klein perfume CK2. The advertisement – which features two same-sex couples – has been reported to authorities in the country for allegedly containing “elements of… Read more »

Russia’s Invisible Children

“404 we exist!” reads one of the selfies from the Children 404 Vkontakte page that has been ordered to shut down. How one outreach forum for LGBT teens has been forced to adapt to growing pressure from politicians and the public “I do not know what is going on with me, and that’s the scariest… Read more »

Russia rejects bill to punish hand-holding and coming out with jail

A Russian Duma committee has rejected a bill which would have made coming out to young people and kissing in public punishable with jail sentences. The Russian Duma was set to vote this week on a measure which would ban all public displays of affection between same-sex couples. The legislation suggested punishments for same-sex couples… Read more »

Screening ‘Sodom’

Watching Russia’s strangest documentary On May 27, 2015, Russian celebrity journalist and film director Arkady Mamontov stood in a Moscow studio of the state-owned TV channel Rossiya 1 (Russia One) to discuss his latest documentary with a group of experts and an audience of about 70 people. Along with tens of millions of Russians who… Read more »

Europe, Putin, and the ‘Gayropa’ Bait

The Kremlin’s messaging on gay rights issues has little to do with beliefs Information war as most people understand it — the use of propaganda to persuade people that a certain cause is right — does not actually exist in Russia. The Russian doctrine of information war is not concerned with ideology. It is a… Read more »

Political Violence, Inc.

How attacks on Russia’s LGBT community are sub-contracted Political violence in Russia is a franchise industry. Anyone can peddle the product so long as they adhere to some basic marketing rules. End users are stratified into various preapproved categories, such as known supporters of “European values,” or prominent opposition politicians There are also ways of… Read more »

On the Frontiers of the “Russian World”

How homosexuality got caught up in the war in eastern Ukraine It was a windy afternoon and Anfisa Glushenko, a 23-year-old volunteer from the self-defense forces of the Luhansk People’s Republic, was in a chatty mood. As the car sped past the charred gas stations and abandoned villages of eastern Ukraine, she kept her green… Read more »

In and Out In ‘90s Russia

An observer looks back on what’s changed, and what hasn’t, for gays in Russia When I first lived in Russia in 1991, during a leave from my job at The San Francisco Chronicle, life was falling apart and cracking open simultaneously. The Soviet state was collapsing under the weight of its own terrible history. But… Read more »

The Origins of Russian Gay Myths

Four Myths that Fuel Hatred for Gays in Russia Most Russians want gays liquidated or ostracized. That’s according to a recent poll that showed hardening attitudes towards all minorities in Russia, but especially towards the country’s LGBT community. Behind Russia’s blossoming hatred for gays are several powerful myths that make up the Kremlin’s narrative of… Read more »

Russia passes law allowing them to ignore international human rights decisions

The Russian government votes to pass law which enables them to ignore decisions handed down by foreign justice bodies. Last week, the state Duma voted to pass a draft law titled “On Amendments to the Federal Constitutional Law ‘On the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation”. The bill-drafted by all four Russian parliamentary parties –… Read more »

Russian LGBT festival refuses to be silenced by ‘gay propaganda’ law

Bok o Bok’s opening night was ambushed by a screaming politician and visitors risked attack, but founders say they won’t be scared out of St Petersburg Holding events for the LGBT community in a country that is clamping down on human rights is difficult. Staging them in the cradle of the “gay propaganda” law is… Read more »

What It’s Like To Be Young, LGBT And Vilified In Russia

Photographer Misha Friedman takes a look inside “The Iron Closet.” New Yorkers can get a no-holds-barred look at Russia’s beleaguered lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth as part of Brooklyn’s annual “pop-up” photography festival. Photographer Misha Friedman, whose images have appeared in Time Magazine and The New Yorker, is bringing his exhibit, “The Iron… Read more »

Protests after gay son ‘exorcised’ in controversial Russian play

Russia’s law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ tested to its limits with play featuring gay teenager’s coming out story A play based on the true story of a gay son coming out to his parents is under threat in Moscow, after complaints from a protest group. ‘All the Shades of Blue’ – ‘blue’ is a slang term… Read more »

Gay in Putin’s Moscow: why the city is pinker than you think

Also see Gay Russia website LGBT nights are easy to find and Grindr reaches into the heart of the Kremlin itself. But two years after the law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’, can being gay in the Russian capital really be much fun? “Moscow is like a small European city in the mid-90s,” says Anton Krasovsky. “Everybody… Read more »

I’m gay and I’ve just spent a year living in Russia

People think it’s one of the most homophobic places in the world Outside of Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, Russia’s probably the last place a gay guy would want spend a year abroad in. Before I arrived in the country, the only things I’d heard about being homosexual in the country were horrendous. I’d read stories… Read more »

Russian Gay Activists Detained After Unsanctioned LGBT Rights Rally In Moscow

Moscow (Reuters) – Police broke up an unsanctioned gay rights rally in central Moscow on Saturday, detaining around 20 people, including anti-gay campaigners who attacked the activists. The campaigners had requested permission to hold a gay pride parade today, but Moscow authorities blocked the request for the tenth year in a row – an annual… Read more »

‘Sorry mum, I’m still gay’: Russian club helps parents accept sexual preference

As life becomes increasingly dangerous for LGBT community, Meduza joins a support group coaching families to come to terms with homosexuality The parents’ club has a few rules: you can only speak if you’re holding the navy dragon, a soft toy that has grown shabby in the club’s four-year existence; no interrupting is allowed; and… Read more »

Russia to block support group for gay teens

Russia’s main support group for teenagers who identify as LGBT is to be blocked under the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law. The founders of Children-404 – the name of which references the country’s censorship of gay culture with reference to the ‘404 – Page not found’ internet error – aimed to provide a safe space for… Read more »

Russia’s ‘Gay Propaganda’ Laws Are Targeting Teachers Amidst Rising Anti-LGBT Sentiment

St. Petersburg, Russia (AP) — Alevtina is one of several teachers who lost their jobs in St. Petersburg after being outed by an anti-gay activist. While most resigned quietly, the 27-year-old music teacher decided to fight her dismissal in court — an unusual step in Russia where gays have faced increasing pressure in recent years.… Read more »

The Fear of Being Gay in Russia

Putin’s state has allowed violence against the Russian LGBT community to spike. Moscow’s first gay pride parade was held in May 2006, thirteen years after homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion, the beginning of a new era of openness for the LGBT community. It didn’t quite work out… Read more »

Russia moves to stop same-sex spouses receiving UN staff benefits

Russia asks UN to put recognition of same-sex marriage for 43,000 staff worldwide to a vote, in attempt to thwart policy change Russia is attempting to stop the United Nations extending staff benefits to same-sex spouses. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, announced in July 2014 it would recognise same-sex marriages among its 43,000 staff… Read more »

Police raid gay club run by lesbian whose selfie of her kissing a girlfriend in front of Russian anti-homosexual politician went viral

St Petersburg lesbian nightclub called Infinity was raided by police Follows selfie by owner of kiss with girlfriend in front of anti-gay politician The selfie, taken in front of Vitaly Milonov on a plane, went viral Milonov later threatened to ‘call the Cossacks’ on the two women A St Petersburg lesbian nightclub was raided by… Read more »

Witness: Beaten For Being Gay In Russia – Andrey’s Story

Despite Russia’s January cold, hundreds of people packed the central square in Voronezh, an eight hour drive south of Moscow, for the planned LGBT rights protest. When Andrey Nasonov arrived, he saw a bus of riot police and several police cars, and quickly realized most of the crowd likely didn’t support LGBT rights. Only a… Read more »

Russia says drivers must not have ‘sex disorders’

Russia has listed transsexual and transgender people among those who will no longer qualify for driving licences. Fetishism, exhibitionism and voyeurism are also included as “mental disorders” now barring people from driving. The government says it is tightening medical controls for drivers because Russia has too many road accidents. “Pathological” gambling and compulsive stealing are… Read more »

License To Harm

Violence and Harassment against LGBT People and Activists in Russia Summary In June 2013 Russia passed a law banning the distribution of information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) relationships to children. The law effectively legalizes discrimination based on sexual orientation. Its passage coincided with a ratcheting up of homophobic rhetoric in state media… Read more »

Russia’s gay community in fear as homophobic attacks increase

This year’s QueerFest in St Petersburg was the most controversial in the festival’s history. At the opening show, a crowd turned up to intimidate and shout insults, spraying coloured antiseptic from syringes, in a kind of cleansing. There were sudden bomb scares and protests, and venues cancelled events at the last minute. Anti-gay activists plastered… Read more »

Russian LGBT Couple Says They Hope Their Marriage Will Help Change Attitudes

A recently married LGBT couple says that they hope their marriage will help change attitudes in Russia. Alyona Fursova and Irina Shumilova married in front of family and friends at a registry office in St. Petersburg last month. Despite Russia’s ban on gay marriage, the women were allowed to marry because Irina describes herself as… Read more »

Argentina grants first refugee status to Russian gay, victim of President Putin’s non tolerance policies

A young 28 year old became the first Russian gay to be given refugee status by Argentina, because of discrimination and violence at his home country. The positive reply to the year-long request was sponsored by Argentina’s Federation of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans, FALGBT. The refugee status was extended by Argentina’s Refugee Committee, Conare,… Read more »

Director Ben Steele On His New Documentary, ‘Hunted: The War On Gays In Russia’

Director Ben Steele dropped by HuffPost Live this week to discuss his new HBO documentary, “Hunted: The War On Gays In Russia.“ “Anti-gay attitudes are widespread, unfortunately, in Russia,” he said of the film, which examines Russia’s notorious “gay propaganda” laws. “In Russia, there is no such thing as a gay hate crime.” As for… Read more »

Russia: Film screening about gay teens accused of violating ‘gay propaganda’ laws

Anti-gay activists in Russia have accused the screening of a documentary about gay teens of violating the country’s notorious law “gay propaganda” laws. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the controversy stirred after the Pacific Meridians festival in Vladivostok was accused of selling tickets to the film Delti 404 (Children 404) without issuing proper ID checks.… Read more »

Russia: Queerfest organisers say police ‘threatened’ venues to shut down

Organisers of Queerfest, an LGBT festival in St Petersburg which was attacked with a harmful gas last week, have criticised police for deliberately pressuring venues to shut down ahead of hosting events. The annual LGBT culture festival had been forced out of its original venue last week, and was later raided by homophobic thugs after… Read more »

Russia gang storm gay festival, release gas, 16 in hospital

16 people are in hospital after Vitaly Milonov, as well as some anti-gay thugs, ruined the opening day of a LGBTI event in St Petersburg Sixteen people have been hospitalized after the opening of an LGBTI arts festival in St Petersburg yesterday (18 September). Thugs are alleged to have sprayed ‘green paint’ and to have… Read more »

WHO: Russia’s anti-gay laws hamper fight against HIV

Russia’s “repressive drug and homosexuality laws” hamper its fight against HIV, the World Health Organisation has warned. The country is home to one of the fastest-growing HIV epidemics in the world. Ten years ago, 170,000 people in the Russian Federation were living with HIV. The estimated number now is 1.2 million and Russia accounts for… Read more »

Russia: Lesbian dance teacher found murdered with throat slashed

A lesbian tango instructor in St Petersburg has been found with her throat slashed. Yekaterina Khomenko, 29, was found dead on September 7, in her car in the north of St Petersburg, with a nine-centimeter cut to her neck. The car was damaged and bearing dents, while the vehicle’s lights and engine were still running.… Read more »

Russian gay rights group deemed ‘foreign agent’ for ‘violating straight rights’

An LGBT rights organisation based in Russia has been deemed a “foreign agent” by a St Petersburg court. The label “foreign agent” implies that a group carries out work on behalf of foreign countries, and restricts the work they can do and messages communicated. This week Coming Out, a leading LGBT rights organisation Coming Out,… Read more »

Russia Year In Review Report

Read entire pdf here  Source – HRC Articles

Declaration Of Ilan H. Meyer, PH.D.

In The CaseseS Of Bayev V. Russia (NO. 67667/09), Kiselev V. Russia (NO. 44092/12), And Alekseyev V. Russia (NO. 56717/12) I. Qualifications 1. I am a Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in the United States of America. Prior to my current position, I was… Read more »