A protest is due to take place opposite Downing Street on Saturday, against the recent passage of anti-gay laws in Russia, which has led to an international outcry.
President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community. Other laws banning the adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples, and laws which enable organisations receiving funding from abroad to be classed as “foreign agents”, were also passed.
The protest will take place on Saturday 10 August, 1-4pm, opposite Downing Street, Whitehall, London. Updates will be available at the event’s Facebook page.
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, said: “Putin is the ‘Czar of Homophobia’. His regime has outlawed the public expression of LGBT identity and affection – and prohibited the advocacy of LGBT human rights – in circumstances where a person under 18 might see it.
“The adoption of children by overseas same-sex couples has also been banned and LGBT organisations that receive donations from abroad are being fined as ‘foreign agents’. These are the latest examples of escalating homophobic and political repression in Russia.”
Organisers have encouraged those unable to attend tomorrow’s protest to sign an AllOut petition calling for action to be taken internationally regarding the laws. It has been signed by almost 350,000 people.
Conservative MP Mike Freer yesterday also told PinkNews he was appalled by the Russian Government’s stance on gay equality and that he would like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to consider moving the 2014 Winter Olympics from Russia.
On Wednesday, author and television presenter Stephen Fry wrote an open letter to David Cameron, International Olympics Committee President Jacques Rogge and Lord Coe, urging for the 2014 Winter Olympics to not take place in Sochi.
In a statement, the IOC said it “respected Mr Fry’s opinion” and the committee was clear that “sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation”.
On Thursday, the Shadow Foreign and Commonwealth Minister for Human Rights, Kerry McCarthy, told PinkNews that the UK Government needed to use next month’s G20 meeting in St Petersburg to raise the issue of gay rights with Russia.
A UK Government source also said that they anticipated the issue of homophobic oppression in Russia would be raised at the G20 Heads of Government meeting.
With international interest on the LGBT situation in Russia at an unprecedented level – on Thursday PinkNews published a collection of the most shocking LGBT stories to have come from the country in the past seven years.