Bare ass: LGBT-news from Belarus and Eastern Europe, 13-19.03.2016

Group of Belarusian LGBT-journalists presents review of LGBT-news from Belarus and Eastern Europe held in the period of 13-19 march, 2016.

Gaypress.eu, Volha Kashtsialian

Belarusian society got excited when their representative at the international song contest «Eurovision» the singer Ivan announced that he will perform naked … with wolves. Even though the majority reacted adversely, the positive tendencies can be detected. Most opponents of such a presentation of Belarus find it improper to show bare ass to the whole of Europe. Furthermore, it has little to do with Belarusian national identity. Some opponents consider a bare ass as a propaganda of homosexuality. Fortunately, homosexuality issue has not become a main tool of the Belarusian state media propaganda.

However, State Belteleradiocompany, which is going to broadcast the show, has denied the information about bare ass. It’s a pity. Conchita Wurst would envy such a show.

The struggle for human rights in Belarus is compounded by strong contra actions on both legal and informal levels. While the government is preparing a new law on the protection of children from harmful information, the Orthodox youth in Brest organized a movement in defense of traditional family values. The Belarusian proponents of the international movement «For Life» organized a rally designed to draw attention to the problem of the Belarusian society abortions, which was a kind of response to the manifestation for abortion that was held in Warsaw by Polish feminists, activists of the LGBT movement, as well as activists of left-wing parties.

Belarus has joined European Action Week Against Racism. The initiators of the campaign, Youth Human Rights Group, Belarus, were conducting series of activities aimed at combating discrimination. The events included seminars, discussions and movie screening, which were held in  Minsk, Homel, Baranavichy, and Vilnius even.

Belarusian media is discussing an article published on one of the city portals. The author wrote an article about a private LGBT-party, which he attended by invitation of the organizer. The text was accompanying with photos, which caused controversy among the involved parties. Trying to figure out.

Two more comming outs for you! Transgender woman from Minsk believes that the biggest problem of transgender is not to be unacknowledged in a society, but to be accepted by yourself. Probably, in a healthy enviroment this fear is minimized and comimg out does not sound like a bombshell, which for instance was demonstrating by a participant of Ukrainian TV-show «The Voice» who confessed on the air to be a lesbian.

A blessing in disguise! The difficulties in obtaining new documents in Russia allowed transgender couple to apply for a marriage, since according the passport one of the partners was a man. Unfortunately, the event was overshadowed by the requirement to remove LGBT symbols and by the presence of police officers.

Due to the refusal of Lviv authorities (Ukraine)  to perform LGBT Festival of Equality  quest on Liberty avenue in front of the Opera House, the founders of the Festival  have conducted it in one of the central hotels. Yet, Lviv Administrative Court was not the only opponent of that event. Referring to the message one of the organizers Elena Shevchenko has left on her Facebook page, the participant were blocked by the masked men, while the hotel was mined.

Lawsuits involving representatives of the LGBT community in Russia are on the rise. Among them is the case of the Berezniki resident who was sentenced to three years imprisonment for the rape of a gay, the case of Yekaterinburg resident who faces 15 years in jail for the gay-bashing murder, the case of Transgender Muscovite who suing her ex-wife for the restoration of parental rights over the child.

Russian authorities and Russian Orthodox Church are actively propagating homophobia. However, this is only heightening people’s curiosity and interest in LGBT community. Thus, two residents from Kirov tried to enter the LGBT nightclub, but were not allowed. They are going to contest their rights in the prosecutor’s office.

Ukrainian human rights organization «Our World» stated a surge of homophobia in the country over the past year. From January to December 2015 the center has recorded 71 cases of violations and discrimination against LGBT rights, including at least 6 murders of homosexuals and more than 10 cases of injuries.

Human rights activists in Russia have recorded 284 cases of violence and discrimination against LGBT citizens in 2015. The gang armed attack on two transgender women is just one of the stories. The trial for this case commenced on 17/03/2016 in Samara.

Aiming to become a  a full-fledged member of the European community, Ukraine is  doing important steps towards European human rights and cultural values. The international conference on LGBT issue and European integration of Ukraine, which is taking place in Kiev, as well as  the intention of the Government to legalize same-sex unions are good examples. Although, the society  headed by the Orthodox Church is not ready for such measures and urge the the President of Ukraine Viktor Poroshenko not to legalize homosexual marriages.

St. Petersburg authorities banned two LGBT rallies and Gay parade to be held in the city center and on Nevsky Avenue respectively, referring to the fact that their conduct would violate federal law regarding the prohibition of propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors.  Encouraged by the fact that founder of «Moscow Gay Pride» Nikolai Alexeyev sued the Kostroma administration of six thousand rubles for the ban to carry out LGBT events on March,17, the St. Petersburg activists have filed a complaint against the authorities’ refusal to Smolninskiy Court.