While Russian Gov’t Bigots Seem Steadfast, the Ground is Shifting Beneath Them
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New protests are providing the fuel for progressive and legal change for gays in Russia. MOSCOW, Russia, early morning, 5/27/10 — While the bigoted mayor of this city has once again banned gay pride this […]
Statement of U.S. activist at packed press conference in Moscow today denouncing city’s ban of Gay Pride:
Coming from a country which illegally imprisons people without trial, tortures them, and has troops occupying over 130 countries around the world, I will not presume to speak about human rights on behalf of my government.
Rather, I would like to speak in the tradition of those who organized against that government in order to win greater rights. And there is no better example of that than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Dr. King and other civil rights heroes taught that unjust laws sometimes have to be broken in order to make civil rights progress.
That is why this Saturday, this gay pride flag I brought from Chicago will fly on the streets of Moscow along with Russian gay pride flags, whether there is permit or not. This is the way that civil rights progress has always been made.
Finally, I would say to the leader of my government, Mr. Obama, it is very easy to speak out in favor of human rights in countries to which you are opposed. It is a far more difficult thing to speak out in favor of human rights at home, and in countries to which you are allied.
Recently Mr. Obama you cut a nuclear arms deal with the Russian government. It is time now to speak out against the ban on Moscow Pride scheduled for this Saturday. Russian gays and lesbians who have been so courageously organizing for their freedom, and the freedom of all Russians, deserve no less.
–Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Chicago based Gay Liberation Network
More statements, pics and a URL for a live blog of events this week in Moscow can be found at