A Russian city might become the first to break from national convention and allow a Pride parade.
Perm, a city in western Russia, is considering whether the law against ‘gay propaganda’ is actually in contradiction with laws protecting freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
Gay rights activists have lodged an application with the Perm authorities and, unlike other cities, they didn’t revoke it immediately citing the nationwide ban on promotion of ‘non-traditional relationships’ to children.
Just this past week, the cities and regions of Yekaterinberg, Ufa, Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk and Kurgan have all banned Pride events in reference to the homophobic law.
However Yuri Utkin, the head of Perm city council, has said Russia’s government has no authority on whether to decide someone can hold a public event.
‘The right of citizens to freedom of peaceful assembly is conflicting with the need to protect children from information that could harm their health, moral and spiritual development,’ he said.
The authorities will be holding further consultations over the decision on whether to allow the parade on 7 November.
Organizers have said 300 people are intended to congregate in the city square to draw public attention to the problems of discrimination against LGBT people.
It has been suggested the Pride parade could be moved from the central location in Perm to a nearby park, and to ticket the event to ensure no children under the age of 18 are allowed in.
Yelena, a 22-year-old student helping to organize Perm Pride, however said this was not good enough.
‘Our voices must be heard,’ she told us. ‘Stopping gay people from congregating in a public place is against the law.
‘We hope the Perm authorities will see sense and recognize homophobic legislation should not have the same standing as a fundamental right to expression and freedom to assembly.’