LGBT demonstration to take place outside Russian Consulate in Edinburgh this afternoon

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A demonstration against Russia’s homophobic censorship laws is taking place outside the Russian Consulate in Edinburgh this afternoon.

Organised by Scotland’s Equality Network, the demonstration starts at 4pm outside the Consulate on 58 Melville Street, Edinburgh.

The Equality Network has decided to stage the event because “over the last few days and weeks a number of supporters have contacted us to voice their concern about the current situation for LGBT people in Russia.”

With some urging for a boycott of the Russian 2014 Winter Olympics, others calling for a boycott of Russian vodka, the Equality Network says it has decided to focus its efforts on lobbying the British Government in order for it “to speak out on this issue and to create some visibility of this important issue in Scotland.”

The charity is also urging people to contact UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

On Friday, Conservative MP Simon Kirby wrote a letter to Mr Hague urging him to “lead in the international condemnation of the Russian Government’s treatment of LGBT people.”

The MP for Brighton Kemptown and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Sport and Tourism said: “The recent ban on the distribution of so-called ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations’ in the media is a clear effort to suppress the voice of the LGBT community and further isolate LGBT people within Russian society.”

Elsewhere in Scotland, more than 760 people have signed a petition demanding that Glasgow’s relationship as a twin city of Russia’s Rostov on Don is severed as an act of symbolism. 

This weekend’s Glasgow Pride is also an opportunity to show solidarity with Russia’s LGBT community, Scottish National Party MSP James Dornan said yesterday.