Gay Parade Rescheduled

The organisers of St. Petersburg's gay parade have reconsidered their proposed date of the 8th September for their march, as it co-incides with the anniversary of the beginning of the Siege of Leningrad - a brutal three year siege by the Nazis in which the city lost over a million citizens to bombs, starvation and cold.

This decision is seen as astute politics by the gay parade organisers as many Russians still harbour very intolerant attitudes towards gays - including most government officials in the Kremlin and Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who has banned several attempts at organising gay parades in the capital. It is thought that by holding a gay parade on this day of national pride gay activists may antagonise citizens rather than encourage them to broaden their minds.

"We respect city holidays and understand very well the feelings of local residents, so we have decided to change the date. The event will be held in early September, but the date will not coincide with any important holiday or any commemorative date," stated Edward Murzin on a local community website.

With the rise of neo-nazi groups in Russia, St. Petersburg has been a hotbed of hate crimes in recent years. Let's hope the gay parade organisers and other champions of equality can rise to the huge challenge of changing people's attitudes.


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