British politicians back protests for Moscow gay pride

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

British political parties have stated their support for international protests against the Moscow Gay Pride ban taking place outside Russian Embassies this afternoon.

Gay groups will picket outside Russian Embassies in London, Paris and Warsaw this afternoon against Yury Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow who announced that the city government will not

allow a gay parade “in any form” and any attempt to hold a gay event will be “resolutely quashed”.

Labour MP Chris Bryant told, “It is a basic fundamental right that you should be able to demonstrate whether as a trade unionist, women’s rights campaigner or as a gay man or women. Many of us are watching Russia to see whether it has really taken human rights to its heart. This kind of autocratic repressive move will undermine international confidence in Russia. I give my wholehearted support to the campaign to allow a gay pride celebration in Moscow.”

Meanwhile The Green Party also gave its backing to the protests, Dr Joseph Healy, a leading Green campaigner in London’s LGBT community, who will attend the demonstration said: “The Green Party in England and Wales will stand up for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people wherever they are threatened. It’s time the Mayor of Moscow and the Russian Government came to their senses and allowed the Moscow Pride march this May.”

“My fellow Green Party member and international human rights activist Peter

Tatchell has led the way in showing how global solidarity can achieve

victory over the forces of homophobia and bigotry. Greens will stand up

for the rights of LGBT people wherever they are threatened.”

Dr Healy added: “Last year I was involved in the campaign to allow LGBT

Poles to march freely in Warsaw and, after attempts to ban LGBT rights

marches in Polish cities last autumn, pressure from our Green MEPs Jean

Lambert and Caroline Lucas and Green parties across Europe led the Polish

Government to withdraw its ban.

“Now LGBT Russians face the same refusal of their basic right to

demonstrate and march openly in Moscow. Once again, Greens across Europe

will demonstrate outside Russian embassies in London, Paris and Warsaw

against this infringement of the rights of the LGBT citizens of Russia.”

Many Russian politicians have supported the ban, Lubyov Sliska, vice-speaker of the State Duma, said: “Some say that the ban on the gay parade does not correspond to human rights. There are several million people in Moscow who do not want homosexuals to have this procession. Who is going to protect their rights?”

The mayor’s spokesman, Sergey Tsoy, has already insisted that the city would never consider allowing a parade, “The Moscow government is not even going to consider allowing a gay parade.” He claimed that the proposed event has “evoked outrage in society, in particular among religious leaders.”