Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gay Picket in Tambov, Russia on Oct 10th

Russian gay activists will be protesting the governor of Tambov's violent and homophobic comments on Friday October 10th. If this goes down successfully without police intervention it will be the first officially authorized gay demonstration in Russia. The mayor of Tambov has approved the demonstration and activists are also in talks with the local government about holding a gay pride rally there on Oct 18th. Meanwhile activists will be rallying for a criminal investigation of the governor.

"Earlier this year, in May, he declared in an interview to “Komsomolskaya Pravda” about gays : “Tolerance?! To hell! Faggots should be torn apart. And their pieces should be thrown in the wind”." (Gay Russia)
The demonstration will take place on the Square facing the Sports Palace "Kristall" where all public events are conducted in Tambov.

For more info about the protest and other LGBT activities in Russia please contact


Anonymous said...

Oh Gods I hope nobody gets hurt, they'll all be in my heart that day... And, thank you for your kind words :-) You have one of the best blogs I have ever read.

Anonymous said...

I'll send a little note to the Metropolitan's office of the Russian Orthodox Church in America asking him to ask the mob his church is planning on sending to not use violence like they did last time.

Laurie said...

I just wrote a comment :( Don't know where
it went but I will rewrite it....

I'm with jGrrl...I don't want anybody hurt.
My fingers are crossed for a great outcome for
them. :)


Anonymous said...

Here is my letter to the Orthodox Church in America

Dear Fr. John Matusiak,

I am writing to specifically and formally request that the Orthodox Church in America interceede -publically if necessary - with Alexi II to have him publically caution his followers to not use violence (or implicitly condone violence by standing by while it occurs, or to use the threat of Orthodox inspired violence to prevent the event - thus profiting from prior Orthodox inspired violence) at the Gay Rights Picket in Tambov, Russia on Friday, October 10.

As you may be aware, lawful, peaceful, Gay rights pickets in Russia have been marred recently by persons either allied to the Russian Orthodox Church such as the Union of Orthodox Ganfoliers (Horugenosty) - chartered by the Russian Orthodox Church by Metropolitian Ioann of St Petersburg in 1992, or by other Orthodox allied organizations. Some of these groups have been seen multiple times using violence to beat up Gay people, many of them in the name of your worldwide communion. And unfortunately, I believe, without appropriate correction by Orthodox Communion leaders.

Just one example of previous Russian Orthodox inspired violence events can be seen at in the pdf attached at I apologize for having you read that unpleasant account. Its pretty unsettling. As to not upset you further, I left out the other examples and just gave you one example. Sadly, there are others. But I believe it truly reflects just ONE example of how Russian Orthodox members have been behaving. Without any apparent strong corrective actions by the communion, and sadly, in my opinion, (given Alexi II's speech in Strasbourg after the event) some encouragement by certain Orthodox leaders. There are other examples of Orthodox inspired violence against defenseless, unarmed, peaceful protersters as well in Russia recently. I am not aware of any specific excommunications or publically named condemnations of named individuals and organizations known to Orthodox leaders in Russia that have resulted from this violence. I am aware of Alexi II's advocacy of the removal of freedom of speech, assembly, petition, and association for Gay Russians in a speech given to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. It is pretty disturbing.

It would reflect extremely poorly on the Orthodox Communion worldwide if the Russian Orthodox Church continues to tolerate allied organizations and persons invoking their names to commit violence again at this event. Or if this event were to be illegally denied to continue. The organizers HAVE a valid permit now. And my people are very brave. They have to be.

Fr. Matusiak, I am aware that the Orthodox Church is opposed to Gay rights. I get it. There is a difference between being opposed to Gay marriage and being in communion with those that perform/tolearate violence against defenseless Gay people. Or profit from the threat of Orthodox inspired violence. Or advocate for the complete removal of freedom of speech, assembly, petition, and association for LGBT Russians (as I believe Alexi II was doing in Strasbourg).

Please don't tell me you love me. I don't want to hear about it if your Orthodox brothers are beating the love into my people on the streets of Tambov or Moscow or St Petersburg. I don't want to hear about it if your Orthodox leaders are loving me into no freedom of speech, petition, assembly, or association.

I just want you to get your communion brother Alexi II to stop the violence carried out in his name. And the removals of freedom of speech, petition, assembly, and association. But for this week, lets just see if Alexi II can call off the violence that may unfortuanately be carried out in his name. Lets see if a Gay person in Russia can picket without being beaten up by Orthodox followers. And it doesn't count if the event is cancelled by the police.

Please be assured. These protests in Russia will continue. And Orthodox inspired violence and advocacy of denials of basic rights of speech, assembly, petition, and associations against Gays will not be a secret anymore in the US, Europe, and Canada. And the Orthodox inspired violence and Orthodox inspired denial of human rights must stop.

If the event is cancelled, using the cause of potential for violence, then we will hold the Orthodox church complicit in using violent threats or prior violence to shut down legitimate protests. And that would reflect even more poorly on the worldwide Orthodox Communion.

Again, please call Alexi II. I'll start off with the assumption that you are against violence carried out in the name of worldwide Orthodoxy. We'll be watching on October 10.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the police in Tambov just cancelled the picket citing 'threat of violence'. Of course, the strutting Russian security forces cannot protect FOUR Gay people from Orthodox inspired violence. Please let the Orthodox Church know how you feel (be reasonably polite)... Or feel free to contact your local (NON GREEK) Orthodox church. Individual church listing is available at

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