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Activists say registration of new LGBT group in Russia is “historic”

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  1. Ivan Gumilev 17 Feb 2009, 5:00am

    I really dislike that guy, Igor Petrov. I do not trust him at all. What registration he talking about? His website or non-profit corporation? I am in doubt that he was able to create gay organization with tax-exempt status and bank account in Russia, where government is absolutely homophobic.

  2. Ivan Gumilev 17 Feb 2009, 5:32am

    I just now went on the site which provides the legal asistance for registration the noncommercial organization in Russia, headed by female lawyer. She said her company did it for free, while it cost a lot… Sounds unreal for Russian stuff… However, let me be clear on the subject: the organization, which would be proper to translate as the “Exit” (“Выход”), have its field of social activities only in St. Petersburg. Nothing else. It is not the federally acting entity, but strictly in St. Petersburg’s region.

  3. Igor Petrov is the Chair of the Russian LGBT Network, and the latter has facilitated registration of the St. Petersburg “Coming Out”. The statutes of the registered organisation explicitly mentions work with LGBT people, and the registration authorities knew well the nature of this organisation. Despite that, they have registered “Coming Out”. Which is for the first time in Russia that an openly LGBT organisation is registered without an initial ban or a court decision. If you know any other cases of openly LGBT organisations being registered in Russia – let them be known!

  4. Nikolai Alekseev 3 Mar 2009, 1:36am

    Dear Ivan,

    You are perfectly right. The organization “Coming Out” did NOT explicit mentioned in its status its intention to work with LGBT despite what Maxim from Ilga-Europe poste above. The words, Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders are not mentionned in any documents used for the registration of the organization. In order to ensure a higher chance of success in the registration process, the lawyer who prepared the registration suggested to only mention “LGBT” without further explanation, in the name of the organization and simulatenously, to have the status as broad as possible.
    It is good because it helped them to register the organization but it does not allow to call this neither a victory, nor an historic event.
    This PR campaign only tend to give the false impression that the Russian authorities have softened their position on LGBT issues.
    This is just a lie which only benefit… the Russian authorities and… ruin the pressure we put against Russia in the European Institutions.
    And as you rightly said, all the job was done by the “Human Rights Ressource Center” and not by Mr Petrov.
    I am very concerned that ILGA-Europe can take an active part in misleading people and showing an inaccurate picture of the homophobia of the Russian authorities.
    Here is the thing… if Russian authorities softened their position, then, why they did not explicitly mentioned in any of their documents that they would work with GAYS, LESBIANS, BISEXUALS, TRANSGENDERS, HOMOSEXUALITY, HOMOPHOBIA… ?
    Finally, “Coming Out” did not make its coming out…

    Nikolai Alekseev

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