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Side by Side LGBT Film Festival Against the Introduction of Homophobic Amendments to the Administrative Code of St. Petersburg.

On 16 November 2011 in St. Petersburg LGBT and human rights activist gathered in front of the Saint Petersburg Parliament to protest against the possible introduction of amendments, which equated homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender with pedophilia, as well as impose a fine for public discussion of LGBT issues, treating it as "propaganda." The homophobic law is being proposed by Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.

Thirty protestors gathered wearing placards with various slogans including: “Don’t feed the people homophobic laws”, "Divide and Conquer: LGBT today - Who tomorrow? “ and “Ministry of Health, 1999: Homosexuality is normal. Parliament, 2011: Homosexuality is ...? Deputies did not venture to engage in dialogue with the protestors choosing instead to ignore public opinion being expressed on the streets.

The homophobic bill is gathering a great deal of resonance among the public and already 7,000 signatures have been gathered in a petition against the proposed legislation. A second reading is planned and deputies are already threatening to introduce even harsher measures of restriction. One deputy even expressed his dismay that homosexuality is not a criminal offence.

The adoption of this law will have a detrimental effect  on the whole of the Russian LGBT movement. The only interregional LGBT organization Russian LGBT Network, the largest grassroots LGBT organization Coming Out, Side by Side LGBT Film Festival and other LGBT groups are headquartered in St. Petersburg.

The proposed amendments violate both Russian and international law, as well as the European Convention of Human Rights. Organizations behind the protest campaign are Memorial, The Human Rights Council of St. Petersburg,  Civil Control,  Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch as well as many others

Protests continue.

Photo Reportage of the Picket Outside the Saint Petersburg Parliament 




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