19: Gay pride march organiser beaten after city announces ban

In May this year, the event organiser of a pride parade was violently beaten after the city the Komi Republic announced its ban on a planned event.

Authorities of the Syktyvkar city administration said they banned the event in response to “requests from the city’s religious and public organisations not to allow public events promoting homosexual values.”

They added that Syktyvkar’s Mayor Ivan Pozdeyev had requested that city lawmakers prepare a draft law banning any similar events from taking place in the future.

Organisers of the pride march say they intend to go ahead with the event despite having received death threats from right-wing and religious anti-gay groups. Although not allowed to take place in city centre, the march would be held in a park in the outskirts away from the public.

On the same day as the cancellation, the gay pride organiser and chair of the local LGBT group, Artem Kalinin, was physically attacked by the leader of a neo-Nazi group in Syktyvkar.

In front of journalists – who caught the attack on camera – Alex Kolegov beat Mr Kalinin. This worsened when gay activist Kalinin called Kolegov a ‘Nazi.’

However, Mr Kalinin is not deterred by the attack.

“This incident will not change my decision” said Mr Kalinin. “We are going to hold pride in spite of everything.”

He and several witnesses reported the attack and death threats, but the police made no arrest.

Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia, has condemned the attack: “This is another proof of full disregard of Russian authorities of the European Court verdict in the case of Moscow Prides by Russian authorities.”

20: Vladmir Putin signs ‘gay propaganda’ and same-sex adoption bans into law

Late June and early July this year saw President Vladmir Putin sign two anti-gay bills into law.

In June, an official publication reported that President Vladimir Putin had signed into law an anti-”propaganda” bill targeting non-traditional relationships.

Not long after in July, another bill banning same-sex couples from adopting was also signed into law by the President.

Commenting on the passage of anti-gay laws in Russia, Mr Putin said it was all about “protecting children”.

On the anti-propaganda law, he said: “It’s not about imposing some sort of sanctions on homosexuality…It’s about protecting children from such information,” Mr Putin said.

“Certain countries…think that there is no need to protect [children] from this…But we are going to provide such protection the way that State Duma lawmakers have decided. We ask you not to interfere in our governance,” he added.

Nikolai Alekseev was the first gay rights campaigner to be convicted under St Petersburg’s law. He was said to have been fined 5,000 roubles, just over £100, by a court in Russia’s second city for the promotion of homosexuality among minors

An issued statement on the same-sex adoption law said: “This measure is aimed at guaranteeing that children are brought up by their adoptive families in a balanced and complete environment and that their mental wellbeing is not affected by any unwelcome influences, such as the imposition of unconventional sexual behaviour, and also that children are protected from developing complexes and mental distress which psychological research has shown children often experience when brought up by same-gender parents.”

Critics believe that the passage of these anti-gay laws is to provoke many more instances of anti-gay violence to come.