RUSSIAN JUDGE BANS OLYMPIC GAY PRIDE HOUSE
Thu, 15 March 2012
A judge has ruled that plans to host a gay 'Pride House' during the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi will undermine the security of the Russian state and lead to a reduction of the population.
The first Pride House was launched during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada, although it was not an official Olympic initiative.
It was a space for gay visitors, athletes and coaches to relax, watch events and meet friends in Whistler and Vancouver.
A Pride House is planned for the London Olympics this year.
Russian LGBT activists announced plans in 2010 to set up an NGO to offer a similar facility for participants in the 2014 Games.
“The idea of Pride House received great support from gay activists around the world and we believe that we have to continue this tradition in Sochi after Vancouver and London,” said leading Russian activist Nikolai Alekseev in August 2010.
The Russian Ministry of Justice last year, however, refused to allow activists to register as an official Pride House NGO.
This week, Judge Svetlana Mordovina ruled in agreement with the ministry and an earlier lower court ruling on the denial of the registration.
"The aims of the organisation contradict the basics of public morality and the policy of the state in the area of family motherhood and childhood protection,” the judge ruled.
"The activities of the [Pride House] movement lead to propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation which can undermine the security of the Russian society and the state, provoke social-religious hatred, which is the feature of the extremist character of the activity.
"Moreover it can undermine the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation due to the decrease of Russia’s population.
"Such aims as creating an understanding of the fight against homophobia and the creation of positive attitudes towards LGBT sportsmen contradicts the basics of public morality because they are directed towards the increase of the number of citizens of sexual minorities that breach the understanding of good and evil, good and bad, vice and virtue," Mordovina said.
Alekseev told Gay Star News that Pride House organisers would not let the matter rest and were in contact with the International Olympic Committee about the issue.
He added, jokingly, "The judge forgot to add that Pride House in Sochi will lead to the melting of Arctic ice, global warming and the end of mankind."
Russia is becoming increasingly inhospitable towards its LGBT citizens. Cities, including Moscow, have banned Gay Pride events from taking place and some have recently enacted legislation barring "the promotion of homosexuality."