Moscow spokesman: 'Aggressive' gays 'play with fire'
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov's press secretary, Sergei Tsoi, said April 6 that activists planning to stage a gay pride parade May 27 are 'aggressive' and 'play with fire.'
The gay community's 'most aggressive members try to impose their convictions on millions of Moscow citizens who deny their lifestyle,' Tsoi told the daily newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.
'They play with fire. That's their aggressive nature,' he said. 'If they disregard [ local court rulings upholding Luzhkov's ban on gay parades ] , they will assume overall responsibility for all possible consequences—and it is dreadful to predict what they may be.'
Last year's ban led organizers to replace the first pride parade with attempts to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and hold a rally across from City Hall. Participants in both small events were violently attacked by neofascists, skinheads, Christians and riot police.
Organizers have filed suit in the European Court of Human Rights over the ban, seeking a determination of their right to march and $26,000 in damages.
Speaking in London in February, at a press conference with the openly gay mayors of Berlin and Paris, Luzhkov said: 'I am not going to allow the gay parade. ... [ T ] hrough the gay parade you promote some uncertain people and it becomes an invitation to acquire this quality of the sexual minorities. [ It is saying that ] this is OK, that's normal, this is useful. Our view is that it is wrong and unusual. Let the gay people do what they do, but they shouldn't involve other citizens of our country.'
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë responded: 'Yuri! You do not become homosexual, there is no risk of propaganda. This is not a disease you catch at some point. ... Some of us have brown skin, some of us have fair skin, some of us have brown eyes, some of us have blue eyes. We are born heterosexual or homosexual. And that's it.'
At the end of the London press conference, Tsoi attacked Moscow Pride organizer Nikolai Alekseev, who also is a journalist and was standing in the front row holding a 'Moscow Pride' sign.
Tsoi tried to snatch away the sign and the two men scuffled. Alekseev later filed a complaint with London police.
Meanwhile, on March 30, Tsoi's wife, pop singer Anita Tsoi, told Moskovsky Komsomolets that she loves to sing in gay clubs and that gay people are normal.
'Among gay people, I know lots of nice and serious guys,' she said. 'They have good jobs, they have normal positions in different professional domains. And they don't look like monsters. And privacy is a personal matter.'
She also said she might attend the gay pride parade.
'If it takes place, perhaps I will,' Anita Tsoi said. 'But currently, as I see, it is not very likely now. The point is, everyone has to be safe. Although I think the more brilliant, exciting and interesting life is, the more joyful it is—especially now, when life is quite dull and severe. I am lady-show and love all funny and positive things.'
Amnesty: Honduran gay activist beaten, raped
Honduran gay activist Donny Reyes was beaten by police and raped by fellow detainees at a police station on March 18, according to Amnesty International.
The organization said Reyes, treasurer of the Rainbow LGTB Association, was arbitrarily grabbed from a taxi stand by police in Tegucigalpa and kept for six hours in a cell where other detainees, egged on by a policeman, repeatedly sexually assaulted him.
'Look, I'm bringing you a little princess, you know what to do,' the officer said, according to Amnesty.
Another of the six officers who took Reyes into custody told him, 'We have to disappear these queers from here.'
Since then, Amnesty said, police have attempted to intimidate Reyes by parking outside the association's office.
'He, and other members of the organization he heads, may be in grave danger,' the organization said.
'Attacks against LGBT people in Honduras are a scourge the police should confront—yet the police are part of the problem,' said Ariel Herrera of Amnesty International USA's OUTfront Program.
Distress over Ukraine's Eurovision entry
Ukrainian nationalists are protesting the nation's official entry in the Eurovision Song Contest—a single by drag queen Verka Serdyuchka.
They demonstrated in several cities April 1, calling for Ukraine to withdraw from the wildly popular pan-European extravaganza.
Serdyuchka lampoons rural Ukrainian women. Although sometimes vulgar, she is a cult icon with a diverse fan base. Her selection by public vote as Ukraine's Eurovision entry was a landslide.
Serdyuchka also is popular elsewhere in the former Soviet Union.
City funds Reykjavík pride
Meeting with members of the gay pride committee March 22, the mayor of Reykjavík, Iceland, Vilhjálmur Th. Vilhjálmsson, agreed to fund the city's pride festivities to the tune of $180,000 a year for the next three years, the Morgunblaoio daily reported.
During the meeting, Vilhjálmsson kissed the hand of the Queen of Videy, a local drag queen and member of the committee.