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Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, was asked yesterday to intervene in the process of consideration of the application for the Slavic Pride march planned for May 15.
In a letter, from Belarusian and Russian gay activists, also asked the President to back the recognition of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Belarus.
“We, activists of human rights projects GayBelarus.By and GayRussia.Ru, appeal to you with a request of facilitating the authorisation proceedings for our human rights and information campaign Slavic Gay Pride 2010, as our application for holding this action, which is planned on May 15, 2010, is being considered in the Minsk city executive committee for more than two months,” the letter starts.
Organisers stressed that Slavic Gay Pride 2010 has a goal of informing the public about unequal treatment, discriminated position of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in the territories of both of Belarus and Russia, and aims to sensitise the public, politicians and media to the issue of the homosexuals.
It is no secret that the human rights rally in support of sexual minorities, who de facto are equal citizens of the country, were repeatedly banned in Moscow, the letter states before pointing out that on May 5, Baltic Gay Pride was banned in Vilnius, despite the fact that Lithuania is a member of the European Union”.
The letter to Belarusian President says that “we do not want to shock the audience or to stage erotic performances and cross-dressing actions on the streets, we are not going to undermine the morality of society.
“Moreover, we believe that this event will positively respond to the country’s image, as same-sex relationships are not prosecuted in Belarus and homosexuality was removed from the list of mental disorders by the World Health Organization in 1990. Consequently, the citizens of homosexual orientation should have the same rights as the heterosexual ones.”
The activists paid attention to the fact that “human rights information campaign is timed to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which is celebrated in many countries on May 17.
“In this regard, we ask you to consider including the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in the list of days celebrated and marked in the national calendar of the Republic of Belarus”.
The activists concluded by pointing out that by organising Slavic Gay Pride 2010, they “ just want to prove that Belarus is rightly regarded in other countries as a tolerant and welcoming country”.
“Slavic Gay Pride” movement was founded in autumn 2008 in Minsk when it was decided that the first Pride would take place in Moscow and the second Pride in the capital of Belarus. On 16 May 2009 several dozens of activists conducted unauthorized demonstration in Vorobyevy Hills in Moscow. Many, including the organizers, were arrested by militia.
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