Belarus needs feminism: LGBT-news from Belarus and Eastern Europe, 20-27.03.2016

Group of Belarusian LGBT-journalists presents review of LGBT-news from Belarus and Eastern Europe held in the period of 20-27 march, 2016.

Gaypress.eu, Volha Kashtsialian

The opposition rally on the occasion of Freedom Day was held in Minsk on the 25th of March. The protestors demanded to respect their political and economic rights, and to end any kind of discrimination on the part of Belarusian authorities. According to surveys, Belarusian-speaking people, as well as  representatives of the LGBT community are the most disadvantaged in the rights in Belarusian society. One of the participant Alexei Klimenko has shared his political views to the correspondent of Radio Svaboda. In a live interview he also confessed his homosexuality.

«Belarus needs feminism» — says Maria Rusak, the author of the article about discrimination against women in Belarus. » There is a legally fixed list of the 181 jobs that are not suitable for women In Belarus. Women’s salary in Belarus is on average 76.6% of men’s wages.» These and other facts you can find and analyze here.

Head of the EU Delegation in Kiev Jan Tombinsky and US Ambassador in Ukraine Jeffrey Payette criticized the attacks on LGBT activists, who were going to  participate in the Festival of equality in Lviv on March 19. According to both, the manifestation of intolerance is contrary to Ukrainian striving toward European values.

Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovy described the episode as a planned provocation discrediting the city and the country. The Mayor advisor Ilya Kionigstein called the incident as a «disreputable act» and a «good lesson». In addition, he pointed that the most important is not to find the guilty, but to draw the right conclusions.

The aggression against LGBT festival was also condemned by Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ukraine) Pavlo Klimkin.

The head of Ukraine‘s drug police Ilya Kiva also commented on gay scandal in Lviv. On his Facebook page, he called for killing homosexuals, citing the line from the Bible:

«Leviticus 20:13. If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.»

Following the immediate negative reaction in the media and demand of  indispensable resignation of the official, the post was deleted. The speaker of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has already announced that Kiva’s statement does not constitute an official position.

Mayor of Ivano-Frankivsk (Ukraine) Ruslan Martsinkov demonstrates homophobia on public, stating that homosexuals can not be patriots. He also opposes abortion and same-sex marriage, which, in his opinion, do not guarantee membership in EU. He mentioned Poland and Ireland as an example of countries, which managed to defend their own Christian position.

The local unit of the Right sector «Carpathian Sich», shares the views of the Mayor. The radicals distribute leaflets with the crossed symbols of the European Union and LGBT-community warning the city residents about the dangers of European integration for Ukrainian traditional values.

Gay activists and human rights activists of St. Petersburg announced about the beginning of the preparation for the May Day march. This already a traditional manifestation is the most massive, bright and memorable Russian LGBT public action. Organizers have asked for financial support and personal involvement. How are they going to surprise us this year?

LGBT Sports Federation in Russia assembles a team to participate in the «Kazan marathon» — a public 3 km mass sprint, which will be held on May, 15th. The purpose of the action is to draw attention to the HIV / AIDS epidemic in Russia.

Smolninskiy District Court of St. Petersburg rejected the LGBT activists claim regarding the ban of Gay parade and two LGBT rallies. It is to be recalled that organizers were intended to carry out events in March aiming to condemn homophobic and transphobic behavior. One of the activist Nikolai Alexeyev announced his readiness to bring the case to the Supreme Court of Russia and the European Court of Human Rights if needed.

Church is homophobic in Russia. However, there are believers and religious people among LGBT community too. Therefore, homosexuals who can not be at the same time faithful and open gay / lesbians, created their own LGBT-ministration in St. Petersburg, which has existed for 15 years already. One of the activists of the movement, lesbian Tatiana, shared her experience of coming to God and awareness of her sexual orientation.

Georgia’s ruling coalition intends to make an amendment to the Constitution, providing for the definition of marriage as a union between a woman and a man. According to the authors of the bill, the purpose of the amendment is to prevent misinterpretation of the definition of marriage. The Parliament submitted the project for public discussion. At the same time, representatives of the LGBT and human rights defenders hold a protest against the amendment in front of the Parliament in Kutaisi.