Alexander Paluyan, the 23-year-old gay activist and editor of Belarusian LGBT website Gay.by, will no longer be called up to join the country’s military.
It had been reported that Paluyan was to report to a military base in Mozyr on January 9th, after a change in law meant that he was no longer exempt from the army because of a medical condition.
News of Mr Paluyan’s conscription was widely reported through the Belarusian LGBT community, and lead to the Belarusian Initiative for Sexual and Gender Equality planning a protest in front of a local military department.
Generally when someone called up for military duty in Belarus states they are homosexual they are identified as having a “psychiatric disease.” Mr Paluyan is reportedly the only person exempt from military duty without being diagnosed with a mental illness.
In an email to GayRussia Mr Paluyan said:
“It is good that everything was done on time and many thanks to everyone for support which I received from friends and colleagues.
“Without their help I would now be wearing the military boots.”
Meanwhile activists have launched a campaign with the aim of getting the Ministry of Defence to reduce homophobia within the Belarusian army.