17 May 2012
On May 17 LGBT activists of St. Petersburg, the city where the notorious "propaganda of homosexuality" law was recently adopted, are going to hold an officially authorized peaceful manifestation dedicated to the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. Activists applied to several administrative districts for permission to hold the manifestation and received very different replies: while Central district denied permission citing the new law, Petrogradsky district gave its authorization. Manifestation will take form of a mass rally under slogans informing the public that on May 17 World Health Organization excluded homosexuality from the list of diseases and recognized it as a normal variation in human sexuality. The rally will take place 19.00 – 21.00 in Petrovsky Park of St. Petersburg and can gather up to 300 people. Representatives of St. Petersburg human rights organizations and democratic parties will take the opportunity to speak about the repercussions of "propaganda" laws for building a true democratic state based on pluralism and respect for diversity. Traditionally, at the end of the rally hundreds of biodegradable rainbow baloons will be launched, symbolizing our dream of a world free of homophobia and transphobia. "It's difficult to understand what guides our city officials in their decision-making," says Polina Savchenko of LGBT organization Coming Out, organizer of the event, "It remains to be seen what the police will do; whether they will act professionally and protect us like last year, or arrest us despite the official permit to hold the event."