Russian Judge Rules Against Gay Pride House at 2014 Olympics
A Russian judge ruled in favor of a ban on organizing a gay Pride House for the 2014 Winter Olympics that will be held in Sochi, Russia, which is located in Krasnodar and is north of Abkhazia on the Black Sea coast.
Russian gay activists planned on creating the Pride House after seeing its success during the 2010 Games in Vancouver. But last year the Russian Ministry of Justice denied the registration of organizing the gay-friendly hangout and earlier this week a court supported the ministry's decision, the Gay Star News reported.
"The aims of the organization contradict the basics of public morality and the policy of the state in the area of family motherhood and childhood protection," said Judge Svetlana Mordovina in her ruling.
"The activities of the [Pride House] movement leads to propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation which can undermine the security of the Russian society and the state, provoke social-religious hatred, which is the feature of the extremist character of the activity. Moreover it can undermine the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation due to the decrease of Russia's population," she continued.
"Such aims as creating an understanding of the necessity to fight against homophobia and the creation of positive attitudes towards LGBT sportsmen contradicts with the basics of public morality because they are directed towards the increase of the number of citizens of sexual minorities which breaches the understanding of good and evil, good and bad, vice and virtue."
A Russian gay rights activist, Nikolai Alekseev, told the newspaper that organizers were going to still fight for the Pride House. "We still aim to host a series of actions during the Olympics, and we are in contact with the International Olympic Committee. Hopefully, a solution can be reached," he said.
"Our movement has been extremely active in the last years in Russia and this rendezvous [in Sochi] is a good occasion to share with others," he added. "What is still unclear for me following the ruling from the court is whether openly LGBT athletes will be allowed to compete in Sochi and if they are, if their safety will be guaranteed. The judge forgot to add that Pride House in Sochi will lead to the melting of Arctic ice, global warming and the end of mankind."
The Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 was the first time the Pride House was used. The 2012 Summer Olympics, which will be held in London, will have a Pride House as well.
"What is happening in Russia today makes it that much more important for everyone to get behind the Pride House London project now," Chad Molleken, executive director of the Pride House London said. "As one of the most diverse and tolerant cities in the world, London has the opportunity to permanently establish Pride House as a part of the Olympic movement and lineup of national houses. Through the Pride House Foundation we hope to raise enough funds to support LGBT athletes and organizations like Pride House Russia to promote diversity and inclusion on a global scale."
Earlier this month the St. Petersburg legislative assembly passed a bill (dubbed the "homosexual propaganda law") that fines individuals up to $16,000 for the "promotion of homosexuality" and "pedophilia among minors." Additionally, Russian LGBT citizens are not allowed to marry nor does the country recognize any kind of legal relationship.