What are you doing in 2112? You should visit Moscow’s next Pride, delayed because of a municipal prohibition for one hundred years.
A city court in Moscow Friday upheld a decision to ban LGBT pride parades for the next 100 years. The decision affirms a Moscow municipal government ruling banning public gatherings that could be classified as gay pride marches from March 2012 until May 2112.
Andre Banks, executive director for AllOut.org, condemned the draconian policy and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s silence, saying in a statement, “Remarkably, President Putin has stayed silent as members of his party advance a provocative anti-gay agenda that is putting him on a collision course with his allies in Europe and around the world. Denying 100 years of Pride is no way to make friends in 2012."
Contrast this press release from Vancouver’s governing party:
“Vancouver’s Pride is now the largest parade of any kind in Western Canada and ranks among the largest Pride celebrations in the world,” said Vision Councillor Tim Stevenson, who is the Council’s liaison to the City’s GLBTQ advisory committee. “I believe we should look at what steps need to be taken to give civic event status to Pride, in addition to other major events like Vaisakhi and the Lunar New Year Parade."
“The Pride Parade and Festival boost Vancouver’s economy by over $30 million every year,” added Councillor Stevenson. “Civic status is one important way the city can continue to build on its support for large-scale community events that celebrate our diversity, showcase Vancouver’s vibrant character, and create jobs by injecting millions of dollars into our local economy.”
“The City budget is tight, but it’s clear from the massive crowds that people care about making these events a huge success. It’s time to look at what options are available and if we can find ways to increase the City’s support.”
I’m very happy to live in the latter of these two cities.
The inevitable Olympic interactions between the City of Vancouver and Russia must highlight how unacceptable Russia’s persecution of LGBTQ people is. Supporters of the Olympics (or what big picture devotees call the Olympic Movement) must reconcile Russia’s oppressive and hateful political system with the imagined values of the Games.