Gay rights backers press for march permit

The organisers of St Petersburgs first gay-pride march have recently applied for permission to hold the parade on the 26th of June. More than 500 participants are expected to take part in the parade, which will go from Konnogvardeisky Boulevard to Senate Square (formerly Decemberists Square). The organisers' plea to the authorities has kicked up quite a large amount of attention from gay-rights organisations and committees around Russia, such as the International Day Against Homophobia Committee and International Association of Pride, which made a joint statement in order to make the point that freedom of assembly is guaranteed in Russia by article 31 of the countrys constitution. Moscow Gay Pride organiser Nikolai Alekseev has also declared his support for his St Petersburg counterparts. By Russian law the authorities must reply to the request by the 18th of June, three days after the request was made, and if the parade is allowed, it will be a huge step forward for Russian gay rights, for similar actions have been banned in the countries capitol ever since 2006. Whatever the decision made by the St Petersburg authorities, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transexual, and all those in support of their rights need not worry, for the parade organisers have vowed that with or without permission, there will be a parade on the 26th.


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