Archive for the ‘Lesbian’ Category

Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko, Russian Lesbian Couple Just Married in Toronto by GayRussia.Ru.

The couple intends to start a legal battle to have their union recognized in Russia.

Despite all obsticles and legal restrictions in Russia, a lesbian couple entered into same-sex marriage in Toronto yesterday. Numerous media and local activists were present at the ceremony during which Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko exchanged woes.

The wedding was held by Harvey Brownstone, a well-known openly gay judge at the family court of northern Toronto. The newly wed couple received their marriage certificate which they intend to use upon their return to Russia to have their Canadian marriage also recognized in their home country.

The couple together with their lawyer and organiser of Moscow Gay Pride Nikolai Alekseev as well as local activists hosted a press conference at the Toronto City Hall before the ceremony during which Canadian gay activists spoke about their struggle for marriage equality stressing the importance of supporting similar movements in other countries, including Russia. They compared the fight for same sex marriage in Russia with a similar campaign which started in Canada two decades ago.

After the press conference, Toronto Mayor David Miller congratulated Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko and thanked the couple for having chosen Toronto for their marriage. Later he wrote in his Twitter blog: “Just met Irena and Irena from russia here to get married; then going home to fight for human rights. Well done women, well done”.

Mayor Miller commented: “They’re so happy you can feel their happiness. And what a great statement from our city that we can lead the world in human rights and that people will come to Toronto to seek equal treatment and respect and joy and love”.

On Friday night dozens of people attended the wedding reception which was held in a restaurant of the gay village of Toronto. During the party, the audience watched pictures of the couple’s attempt to register their marriage in Moscow last May, as well as a video footage of this year’s Slavic Gay Pride in Moscow.

Nikolai Alekseev said on Friday: “We are delighted with the warm welcome in this wonderful country and in this stunning city of Toronto. Even though it is not my marriage, this is a day I will hardly forget. We are grateful to the Canadian LGBT organization EGALE for helping us in organizing the wedding of our Irinas in Toronto”.

Organizer of the Moscow gay Pride stressed: “Many in Russia, including in the LGBT community, think that same sex marriage is impossible but the fight for marriage equality in Russia today is an investment in a democratic and free future of the country. We know that we will get it one day and this is the reason why we have to start now”.

“I salute the courage of Irina and Irina who are showing today that there are no barriers to love. They give a great message of hope”.

Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko explained during a press conference after the registration of their marriage, that they intend to fight to have their marriage recognized in Russia. They stressed that “This is only the beginning of a long journey of recognition of family rights for same-sex couples in Russia.”

The couple explained that “We get a lot of mails and messages of congratulations from gays and lesbians in Russia who also want to have their union recognized but most of them are not able to fight for their rights. We are confident that our struggle will soon benefit to them”.

On Saturday, Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko will celebrate their union in Niagara Falls – a place famous with honeymooners.

On May 12, the Tverskoi Registry Office refused to register the marriage of Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko arguing that under the Family Code a marriage can only be registered between a man and a woman. A judge of the Tverskoi district court upheld the refusal on October 6. The couple appealed the decision and further announced that they are ready to take their case up to the European Court of Human Rights.


More photos of the wedding:
Photos from the ceremony presided by Judge Harvey Brownstone:
Photos with the Mayor of Toronto David Miller who congratulated the girls in his Twitter:
Video report from Toronto Sun:
Video report from City TV:

Povorka_ponosa_09_20Belgrade Pride invites lesbians, gays, bisexuals, asexuals, intersexuals, trans and queer folk, their friends, families and all those who wish to build society free of fear, violence and discrimination – to join us in Pride parade!
On September 20th 2009 together we will write new history of our town; it will be the day when Serbia makes a big brave step forward in struggle for equality and freedom of all its citizens.
Let’s go out to the streets together and create a free space where regardless of our differences there will be respect and solidarity, where we will promote tolerance and understanding!

Its our basic human right to freely use public spaces – so let’s use it!

We will gather on September 20th in all our diversity to show that there are many ways that people love one another.

belgradeprideBelgrade Pride poziva lezbejke, gejeve, biseksualne , interseksualne, aseksualne, trans i queer osobe, njihove prijateljice i prijatelje, porodice i sve one koji žele da zajedno gradimo društvo slobodno od straha, nasilja i diskriminacije, da nam se pridruže u Povorci ponosa!

BELGRADE — Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said that the police will uphold public order and safety during the gay pride parade, expected to take place on September 20.

“In this country, no one is allowed to threaten or bother anyone,” Dacic said, adding that the event will be laden with safety risks and that police will do everything they can to ensure order and safety.

The Pride Parade 2009 organizational committee said it supported the minister’s statement, as the first clear public comment giving a guarantee that police will do everything to secure the event.

Dacic said that while signing the protocol on Tuesday on a donation from the city assembly to Belgrade police, that the joint goal of police and the city is to make Belgrade a place where personal and property security are guaranteed for all citizens, “and where police are always ready to help in emergency situations”.

Belgrade Mayor Dragan Djilas said that city workers have started painting over graffiti that express threats to participants in the parade, “because it is necessary for everyone to feel safe”.

He said that there are small groups that are hiding behind football supporter groups, and who use any kind of public gathering as a chance to cause riots.

Several weeks ago, the graffiti that appeared all over Belgrade threatened gay and lesbian population and those who plan on participating in the parade.

“The organizational committee informed the Interior Ministry of a study done by Zoran Dragisic of the Security University and his colleagues with an analysis of the situation and recommendations for organizing the Pride Parade,” a member of the committee, Milica Djordjevic, told B92, and added that the analysis was presented to top MUP officials.

MUP officials are prepared to coordinate with the organizational committee to make sure that everything will go safely on September 20.

“Our police and its administration have experience and have already demonstrated to the citizens that they can protect them when necessary,” Djordjevic said.

The organizers hope that the city will be interest in cooperation with the parade just as much as the police, human and minority rights ministry, ombudsman, and non-governmental organizations are interested.

The organizational committee asked to meet with Mayor Djilas two weeks ago, but has not heard from his office yet.

Links of the Belgrade LGBT Pride:

Russian Lesbian Couple, Irina Fedotova and Irina Shipitko, Denied Marriage License

IrinaFedotova-Irina -Shipitko

The attempt to marry went incredibly well and drew a large crowd of journalist, even more than for the Pride Issue. LGBT journalists can use the photo on the below link with copyright “GayRussia.Ru“. More photos will come on GayRussia.Ru. The couple will wed in Toronto, Canada in June. The denial received today will be appealed in Russian court up to Strasbourg.

Nikolai Alexeyev

Russian lesbian couple denied marriage license

By Mansur Mirovalev – 12 May 2009

MOSCOW (AP) — Supporters considered it a historic moment: two radiant women applied for a marriage license in a Moscow government office, claiming to be the first same-sex female couple to try to marry in Russia.

But a flustered-looking official denied their application Tuesday, a move that gay rights activists say symbolizes the refusal of many Russian officials to recognize the rights of the country’s gay and lesbian communities. Registry office director Svetlana Potamoshneva, seemingly embarrassed, handed them a written rejection and said Russian law recognizes only marriages between a man and a woman.
Irina Fedotova and Irina Shipitko said they would not give up.

“We won’t stop in midstream,” Fedotova told journalists later, saying she and her partner plan to get married in Canada. She said Russia recognizes marriages registered abroad, thus allowing the couple to formalize their relationship.

The event was the first of two this week that will put the issue of gay rights — which many Russians regard as controversial — on the public stage in Moscow.

Fedotova and Shepitko sought to marry ahead of a gay pride parade Saturday, scheduled to coincide with the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest. Gay rights activists hope the media covering the event also will focus on their cause.

Radio Netherlands reported Monday that the Dutch singer Gordon would boycott the contest if parade is broken up violently.

Moscow authorities have banned the march, and religious and nationalist groups said Tuesday they have asked for permission to hold a counter-demonstration in central Moscow.

“The gay parade is … an act of spiritual terrorism,” said Mikhail Nalimov, chairman of the Union of Orthodox Christian Youth.

His deputy, Dmitry Terekhov, said the parade was in part aimed at converting people to homosexuality. “This must be stopped by radical methods, but without violence naturally,” he said.

In some countries, gays have won increasing acceptance — including the right to marry — but in many nations of the former Communist bloc homophobia remains rampant.
Decades of official persecution of Russian gays ended in 1993 with the decriminalization of homosexuality, but opposition to gay rights remains widespread. Russian spiritual leaders have claimed that homosexuality threatens the country’s traditional values.

There are no official estimates of how many gays and lesbians live in Russia, and only a few big cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg have gay nightclubs and gyms.

Russian gay rights movement leader Nikolai Alexeyev said several gay male couples have attempted to wed since the mid-1990s, but officials rejected those efforts.

In 2006, gay activists trying to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier just outside the Kremlin wall were arrested by riot police and harangued by religious and ultranationalist group members.

Last year, at least one gay rights activist was assaulted during a small protest in Moscow while uniformed police officers stood by and watched.

Dancer and singer Boris Moiseyev, one of Russia’s few openly gay pop stars, said in March he received death threats from Muslim activists. His extravagant shows have been banned in several Russian cities, and the Orthodox Church condemned him for “propagating sodomy and sin.”

Meanwhile, despite their rejection of a marriage license in Moscow on Tuesday, Fedotova and Shepitko — wearing suits and bow ties and holding flowers — held hands and kissed. They said they would continue to fight for recognition of gay rights in Russia.

Fedotova, a 30-year-old public relations consultant, said she has lived through years of threats and intimidation and wants to a marriage equal to that of heterosexual couples.
She said she met Shipitko, a 32-year-old fashion designer, five years ago and they have both “reached marriage age for sure.”

Associated Press writer Peter Leonard contributed to this report.

See also :

Subject: Tatchell risks Moscow Gay Pride

Tatchell at Moscow Gay Pride

Undeterred by threat of arrests and bashings

London – 11 May 2009 – By Peter Tatchell


A Russian ultranationalist tries to remove a placard which a veteran of British gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell holds during a demonstration in Moscow, 27 May 2007. AFP / Alexander Titorenko

Despite threats to bash and arrest the marchers, British gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will attend this Saturday’s Moscow Gay Pride parade – this year renamed Slavic Gay Pride to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality struggles in all Slavic countries, Russian and non-Russian.

The parade is scheduled to take place at lunchtime on Saturday 16 May, and coincides with the final of the Eurovision song contest which is being held later that night, also in Moscow.

The Moscow authorities have said the parade is banned and have threatened “tough measures” against anyone who tries to march. In addition, there is the likelihood of mob violence against the marchers by neo-Nazis, skinheads, ultra-nationalists and Christian fundamentalists – as happened in 2006 and 2007.

“I am joining the parade to show my support for the courageous Russian gay campaigners. All year round they risk arrest, imprisonment and queer-bashing attacks. These men and women are absolute heroes. I salute them,” said Mr. Tatchell, who is the human rights spokesperson for the Green Party of England and Wales and the Green Party parliamentary candidate for the university constituency of Oxford East in south-east England.

“International solidarity is hugely important. My presence is one way to show that gay people around the world support the right of gay people in Russia to live their lives without homophobic prejudice, ostracism, discrimination and violence.

“This parade is in defence of human rights. We are defending the often violated human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Russians. They want legal protection against discrimination and hate crimes. I support their cause.

“Not all Russians are homophobic, but many are. Gay Russians suffer queer-bashing attacks, blackmail, verbal abuse and discrimination in education, housing and employment,. This shames the great Russian nation.

“Saturday’s Slavic Gay Pride is about more than gay human rights. It is about the right of all Russian people to freely express their opinions and to protest peacefully. The ban on gay parades is just one example of the systematic suppression of civil liberties in Russia.

“I appeal to President Medvedev, Prime Minister Putin and Mayor Luzhkov: gay people are no threat to Russian society. Be magnanimous. Uphold democratic rights and freedoms. Allow the Slavic Gay Pride parade.

“Although I am determined to support our Russian and Belarusian comrades, like them I am anxious about what may happen to us. But we have to take some risks; otherwise the homophobes and authoritarians will win.

“I don’t have much confidence that the Moscow police will accept our right to protest or that they will protect us against neo-Nazi violence.


“At Moscow Pride in 2007 I was beaten almost unconscious by right-wing extremists, while the police stood by and watched. They then arrested me. I spent several hours in police detention before being released without charge. My attackers have never been arrested, even though they were clearly identified in photos and film footage,” said Mr Tatchell.

Peter Tatchell Website

See also:

Lesbians to attempt first gay marriage in Russia


Photo: Irina Fet (Fyet)

By Amie Ferris-Rotman

Official application expected on 12 May

A lesbian couple will try to defy deep-rooted Russian homophobia next week in the first attempt at a gay marriage even though rights activists say it will be rejected outright.

Public relations worker Irina Fyet, 31, and her partner of the same age will apply for a marriage license at a register office on May 12 in Moscow, a city where mayor Yuri Luzhkov once described gay pride marches as “satanic.”

Gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseyev said it was the first time a gay couple would apply for a license.

“I am 99 percent sure there will be a refusal, but maybe later the situation in Russia can change, the political feeling can change,” he told Reuters on Wednesday.

The pair will most likely legally marry in the coming months in Toronto, or Norway, he added. Neither country requires residency for gay couples wishing to marry.

Activists say a loophole exists in Russian law which bans gay marriage at home but does not prevent the recognition of a same-sex marriage that has taken place abroad.

The Soviet Union banned homosexuality and any type of nudity on TV, and Russia did not decriminalize gay sex until 1993, two years after the USSR’s collapse.

Unlike other major European cities, Moscow has no gay-friendly district and the homosexual scene is still largely underground.

Despite the fact that one of Russia’s most popular musical groups abroad, Tatu, traded on their fictionalized lesbian image, same-sex couples are rarely seen being affectionate in public.

“They want to be able to live like other citizens, this is not (gay) propaganda,” Alekseyev said of Fyet and her partner.

His website quotes Fyet as saying “Our love is no different (than others).”

Gay pride parades, unheard of in the days of the Soviet Union, have been allowed in some cities in recent years but are generally met with public and political derision.

Three years ago, police, militant Orthodox Christians and neo-fascists attacked and violently broke up the first gay rights march in Moscow.

Next week’s Russian gay pride march will purposely coincide with Moscow’s hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest and competitors will be asked to back homosexual rights on stage.

The Russian Orthodox Church, resurgent since the fall of the Soviet Union, has helped turn public sentiment against gay pride events, which the then head of the church, Patriarch Alexey II, has called “propaganda for homosexuality.”

Reuters’ Full Article

Video: San Francisco Gays Protest 6 Gay Iraqi Murders – April 6, 2009, Harvey Milk Plaza

Gay Iraq Vigils: NYC on Friday 10 April, London Next Thursday 16 April 2009

By Michael Petrelis

Two international actions are planned over the coming two week because of the murder of gay Iraqis in the slums of Baghdad.

Activists will gather in New York City this week, and in London next week, to protest the deaths of gay Iraqis, the continuing American occupation of the country, and to express strong solidarity with the LGBT people of Iraq.

Big thanks to Brendan and Ali for organizing the vigils.

Here are the details for each action that I’ve received from the organizers. If you’re near these cities, please try and get to the actions.


Contact: Brendan Fay


P: 718-721-2780

We will gather later this week to remember our murdered brothers in Iraq, at a vigil in front of the Iraqi mission to the United Nations. We will light candles, lay a wreathe with rainbow ribbons, and also speak out against homophobic violence everywhere. A letter of protest will be delivered to the mission.

Please join us!

What: Vigil of Remembrance & Solidarity With LGBT Iraqis

When: Friday, April 10

Time: 12 Noon

Where: Iraq Mission to the UN

14 E 79th St

New York, NY 10075


Contact: Ali Hili



What: Protest and Support Iraqi LGBT – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgendered

Date: Thursday, April 16, 2009

Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Location: Home Office Direct Communications Unit

2 Marsham Street

London, United Kingdom

See also: London protest about Iraqi gay executions by LGBT Asylum News

See more details and RSVP via Facebook


Photo: Irina Fet, Daniil Goodwin and Nikolai Baev

Ryazan court finds gay activists guilty of popularizing homosexuality

Sent by Nicolas Alexeyev

Ryazan, April 6, Interfax – A court in Ryazan has found the organizers of two public events protesting homophobia guilty of popularizing homosexuality and ruled they be fined 1,500 rubles each (34 Eur).

Nikolay Bayev and Irina Fet were found guilty of popularizing homosexuality among minors and the court ruled to fine them 1,500 rubles each, an organizer of the Moscow gay parade Nikolay Alexeyev told Interfax.

On March 30, the gay activists staged public event demonstrating posters reading, “Homosexuality is normal” and “I am proud of my homosexuality.”

The judge ordered the posters be destroyed.

Sexual minorities held their rallies near schools and near a regional children’s library, the court said.

“We will now file a complaint with the Russian Constitutional Court and later the European Court,” Alexeyev said.

Article 3.10 banning the propaganda of homosexuality “is anti-constitutional and must be repealed,” he said.

“The Ryazan region is the only region of the Russian Federation where this article is applied,” Alexeyev said.

Full Article

See also: Russia: Two Moscow Gay Pride Organisers Arrested for Propaganda of Homosexuality

crEnd “Corrective” Rape of Lesbians in South Africa
Target: South African President Kgalema Motlanthe
Sponsored by: Care2
A new ActionAid report describes the shocking rise of “corrective” rape in South Africa – in which South African lesbians are being raped in an effort to “cure” them of their sexual orientation. Support groups in Cape Town say they see 10 new cases of “corrective” rape every week. And it’s even more widespread around the rest of the country.

Many perpetrators of rape already go unpunished in South Africa, but the situation is even worse for lesbian women. Indeed, 31 lesbian women have been murdered in homophobic attacks since 1998, but in only one of these cases has there been a conviction.

Although South Africa’s constitution recognizes rights of gay and lesbian people, its legal system does not view crimes committed against gay and lesbians on the basis of sexual orientation to be hate crimes. The South African legal system must recognize “corrective” rape as a hate crime in addition to a rape in order to establish a greater punishment for this brutal and widespread act of sexual violence. Urge South African President Kgalema Motlanthe to deem “corrective” rape a hate crime!

Sign the Online petition:

Hate crimes: the rise of “corrective” rape in South Africa:

Lesbian women in South Africa are being raped by men who believe it will “cure” them of their sexual orientation, according to a shocking new report by ActionAid.

Women in townships in Johannesburg and Cape Town are reporting a rising tide of brutal homophobic attacks and murders and the widespread use of “corrective” rape as a form of punishment.

In South Africa, no woman is safe from violence. The country’s war against its women continues unabated, with an estimated 500,000 rapes, hundreds of murders and countless beatings inflicted every year. For every 25 men accused of rape in South Africa, 24 walk free.
Read full article


Lesbians in South Africa subjected to ‘corrective rape’ by Therion

A report from the international NGO ActionAid, says that horrific assaults against lesbians in South Africa are going unrecognized by the state and unpunished by the legal system. ActionAid backed by the South African Human Rights Commission has condemned what it describes as ‘a culture of impunity’.

These crimes received greater attention when Eudy Simelane, a star of South Africa’s national female football squad, was gang-raped and viciously beaten and stabbed. Her body was found in a creek in a park in Kwa Thema, on the outskirts of Johannesburg.

Campaigners say that the attacks are viewed by the perpetrators as “corrective rape”. Research by Triangle, a leading S. African gay rights organization indicates that 86% of black lesbians from Western Cape live in fear of sexual assault. Triangle says it is dealing with up to 10 cases of “corrective rape” every week.

Carrie Shelver of the women’s group Powa, a South African NGO, says that the root of the problem is “… a macho culture that seeks to oppress women and sees them merely as sexual beings. So when there is a lesbian woman she is an absolute affront to this kind of masculinity”.

For more on this story, link to the Guardian here.

Also link to a video here featuring interviews with victims of ‘corrective rape’.

Full article


Pegah, the Iranian lesbian, has finally been granted permanent asylum in the United Kingdom.

By EveryOne Group

EveryOne Group and Friends of Pegah: “A historical victory for refugees’ rights, but now we have to block the illegitimate deportation of people persecuted because of their sexual leaning, race or ethnic group”.

EveryOne Group, Assist and the Friends of Pegah Campaign association have finally received some long-awaited news where the rights of refugees are concerned: Mrs Pegah Emambakhsh, who took refuge in Sheffield (England) in 2005 after fleeing from Iran to escape stoning due to her homosexuality, has finally been granted refugee status in the United Kingdom. “This is extremely important news”, comment the activists of EveryOne, “because when we took on the responsibility of initiating the “flowers campaign” Pegah’s fate seemed decided. In the summer of 2007 the campaign for Pegah’s life promoted by EveryOne saw the participation of thousands of people, who sent flowers and letters of support from all over the world to the Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, where Pegah was awaiting her transfer to the airport from where she was to fly back to Teheran, and the executioner.

“Twice we were able to stop the flight to death, while the movement to save Pegah’s life grew day by day. The campaigners were joined by GLBT associations, the Radical Party, European political parties and intellectuals – but most of all by a multitude of citizens from all five continents who appealed to the United Kingdom to save Pegah, and to Iran to interrupt its persecution of homosexuals, dissidents and minorities”. Pegah’s case, and that of Mehdi Kazemi (another case taken up by EveryOne), was at the base of a resolution by the European Parliament which led to a significant change in the UK’s asylum laws.

“The flowers campaign for Pegah’s life and later campaigns which allowed us to block some deportations,” say the activists, “were made possible thanks to the receptiveness of the British institutions, who always pay great attention to the cases put to them by human rights groups. In each case the British Embassy in Rome acted as mediator with the British Government and facilitated the successful outcome of cases where the requests for asylum had been turned down by the immigration office. Pegah’s case has not only changed the destinies of homosexual refugees, it has also helped people who have fled from countries where horrific humanitarian tragedies are underway, like Annociate Ningaparitse and Alvin Gahimbaze from Burundi. Our group was not only able to block their deportation, it was also able to show the British Government the dramatic humanitarian situation in Burundi, which led to the consequent extension of humanitarian protection rights”.

And now the British Government has officially granted Pegah permanent asylum on British soil: a ruling that marks an important step forward in the field of refugees’ rights.

“We share this success with EveryOne, the associations, the politicians and the Friends of Pegah who have made this fantastic result possible,” comments Leslie Boulton, the president of the Friend of Pegah Campaign association, with enthusiasm and emotion. “It is a really wonderful event and a reward for the hard work we carried out, side by side, to prevent Pegah being deported back to Iran”.

EveryOne Group is at present in contact with the British Embassy in Rome, with the British Border Agency and with the government authorities appealing for humanitarian protection for G.B., a young homosexual who fled to the UK from Iraq where, since 2001, homosexuality has been punished by execution. G.B. is being helped in the United Kingdom by the Iraqi LGBT association. “The reason given by the Immigration Office for turning down his appeal is paradoxical,” say Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau, leaders of EveryOne. The authorities, in fact, have explained their decision by stating that a homosexual person can avoid becoming the victim of Iraq’s discriminatory laws and the death sentence simply by “being discreet about his or her sexual conduct’”.

“Even if we ignore the fact that people should be free to manifest their lifestyle as they see fit without having to fear repressive actions due to the discriminatory laws in force in their own country, the decision of the British Government (if carried out) would still put the Iraqi’s boy’s life in danger as he is already known to be a homosexual by the Iraqi authorities. And is it right to expose a homosexual refugee to the death penalty if his sexual preferences happened to be discovered?”

In the next few days EveryOne will be sending the UK Government a dossier testifying to the conditions of discrimination and persecution that homosexuals are subjected to in Iraq.

Gruppo EveryOne

Tel: (+ 39) 334-8429527 (+ 39) 331-3585406 ::

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