Russia: Activists claim St Petersburg officials have sanctioned IDAHO rally
LGBT activists in Russia have announced that St Petersburg will take part in the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), despite a law banning “homosexual propaganda” in the city.
The Moscow Times reports that Vykhod, an LGBT rights group, announced on Monday that they had been given permission to hold a rally in the Field of Mars park on 17 May to mark IDAHO.
“We think that it’s especially important to remind [people] that homosexuality is a perfectly normal sexual orientation,” said Vykhod member Olga Lenkova.
The announcement has yet to be confirmed by St Petersburg’s official representatives.
A federal version of the bill is also on the cards. In January the Russian State Duma adopted the first reading of a homophobic censorship bill which would impose federal sanctions for the promotion of “gay propaganda”, similar to the law in St Petersburg.
She went on to admit that the attack was believed to have been a hate crime, which was noted as a rare admission from Russian law enforcement agencies on the issue of homophobia in the country.
A Saturday statement from the Moscow-based Investigative Committee confirmed that two men aged 22 and 27 had been detained in connection with the attack. One of the suspects has a criminal history.