By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com August 17 2012 11:11 AM ET
A city court in Moscow Friday upheld a decision to ban LGBT pride parades for the next 100 years. The decision affirms a Moscow municipal government ruling banning public gatherings that could be classified as gay pride marches from March 2012 until May 2112.
Nikolay Alekseyev, a Russian LGBT community leader and event organizer, said he intended to appeal the decision to Moscow’s highest court, and eventually to the European Court of Human Rights. Alekseyev told reporters in 2011 that he and LGBT supporters never expected to actually receive a license for the parade but needed a formal refusal to file a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.
Andre Banks, executive director for AllOut.org, condemned the draconian policy and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s silence, saying in a statement, “Remarkably, President Putin has stayed silent as members of his party advance a provocative anti-gay agenda that is putting him on a collision course with his allies in Europe and around the world. Denying 100 years of Pride is no way to make friends in 2012."
Last year, Russian provinces instituted a gag law that bans “gay propaganda,” classified as any type of speech in support of LGBT people. Earlier this month, Madonna openly defied the law during her concert in St. Petersburg, when she passed out symbolic wristbands asked Russians in the audience to “Show your love and appreciation to the gay community. We want to fight for the right to be free. All people should be treated with dignity, respect, and love.”