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Monday, February 14, 2011

Minsk Authorities Sanctioned Rally of Sexual Minorities for the First Time

Minsk City Executive Committee allowed activists of the LGBT movement, comprising representatives of sexual minorities, bisexuals and transgender people, to hold a public action against homophobia for the first time. This was reported by one of the leaders of the LGBT movement in Belarus Sergei Androsenko.  

The action is scheduled for February 14 and is timed to coincide with Valentine's Day, celebrated in many countries around the world. Organizers of the action in Minsk have decided to not disclose the location and time of the event in order to avoid provocations.

Sergei Androsenko stressed that the city government allowed the LGBT activists to carry out such a public event for the first time. "Apart from Minsk, Homel and Mazyr have also made attempts to hold public events against homophobia, but in vain," said the leader of the movement.

Sergei Androsenko believes that sanctioning such an event will be "a new date in the history of the Belarusian gay community. "February 14 will now really become the day of all those in love. We welcome the decision of Minsk City Executive Committee for permission of their first LGBT rally in Belarus, although I understand it's not worth relaxing and having false illusions about the so-called "thaw." But now we have, of course, much more hope that the public action of Minsk Gay Pride - 2011 will be held in June in permissive format," leader of the movement.

Meanwhile, organizers of the campaign were banned from using a rainbow flag - the international symbol of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The authorities argued that this flag was not registered in Belarus as the symbols.

As Telegraph previously reported, sexual minorities' representatives of Belarus have already tried to hold such a public campaign against homophobia. Activists of the LGBT movement tried to hold "Slavic Gay Pride - 2010" in Minsk on May 15. However, Minsk police dispersed the protesters and detained seven activists. The detainees were fined a minimal amount of Br17.5 thousand (0.5 baseline value) and released two days later.


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