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Amnesty International Asks St. Petersburg to Reinstate Pride March

Amnesty International Asks St. Petersburg to Reinstate Pride March

St. Petersburg, Russia, authorities Thursday canceled the Pride march previously approved for Saturday, prompting Amnesty International to request the march permit be reinstated.

"It is time for St. Petersburg to portray itself as a global city where tolerance and respect for human rights are held high and where there is no place for discrimination," said Sergei Nikitin, director of the Moscow office of Amnesty Internationial, according to Gay Star News. "Such behavior paints the St. Petersburg authorities in a very negative light, as they are flouting their international obligations to protect the basic human rights of all city residents."

Meanwhile, St. Petersburg activists said they intend to march regardless. "We will hold the event as planned," organizer Yury Gavrikov told the media Friday.

In March a law banning "propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderness among minors" was approved in St. Petersburg, making it the fourth Russian city to adopt antigay legislation.

The antigay sentiment has been spurred on by leading Russian politicians and the Russian Orthodox Church and runs counter to Russia's decriminalization of homosexuality 20 years ago.

Amnesty International also spoke out in May against the arrest of participants in a Moscow LGBT Pride event.

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