Moscow Pride: 6th Time’s a Charm?
Gay activists will try again next month to stage a gay pride march in Moscow. This time, they are armed with a final ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that previous years’ bans by the ex-mayor and the city were illegal. On April 12, Moscow Pride applied to the police department and mayor’s office for permission to hold this year’s march. The group asked to hold a “mass cultural and educational event” this time rather than a “political rally” -- which had been banned each of the past five years. Previous years’ unsanctioned events were attacked by anti-gay hooligans, picketed by religious protesters and broken up by riot police.
Indian Supreme Court Considers Ruling that Legalized Gay Sex
India’s Supreme Court was scheduled on April 19 to begin hearing 15 separate appeals of the Delhi High Court ruling that struck down the nation’s ban on gay sex in July 2009. In striking down the ban nationally, the High Court “read down” Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code so that it no longer applies to the activities of consenting adults. The section bans “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” under penalty of 10 years to life in prison. The court said 377 violated a constitutional guarantee of equality under the law, a constitutional ban on discrimination based on sex, and constitutional promises of personal liberty and protection of life. Given India’s population of 1.2 billion people, the High Court’s decision had the effect of decriminalizing 17 percent of all LGB people on the planet.
Gay Groups Denounce Draft Hungarian Constitution
Hungary’s Parliament was scheduled to vote April 18 on a new national constitution that LGBT groups say is problematic. ILGAEurope – the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association – said the draft defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and omits sexual orientation from an anti-discrimination provision’s list of banned grounds of discrimination. The co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s board, Martin K.I. Christensen, said “the proposed draft signals a worrying sign of Hungary’s departure from the EU principles of equality and nondiscrimination for all, and from European legal traditions.”
Euro Parliament Scolds Macedonia
In adopting its annual report on Macedonia’s progress toward joining the European Union, the European Parliament on April 7 told the nation to legally ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Such a ban is a requirement of EU membership. Intergroup Co-President Michael Cashman said: “There is literally no way around this. Entering the European Union will require amending the anti-discrimination law.”