Moscow Threatens To Arrest LGBT Activists Because Homosexuality Is A Sin
The Moscow department of regional security has warned controversial LGBT rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev that participants in a rally planned for October 21 would be subject to arrest under the ban on “promoting non-traditional sexual relations to minors” in a letter dated October 9 and posted on Alexeyev’s Facebook account on Friday.
The letter warned that the planned rally’s location — in a square near the Church of Christ the Savior — “could be evaluated as an offense to the feelings of religious believers and provoke unlawful actions from people who do not share the views of its participants.”
“Throughout the entire history of Christianity, the Orthodox church has recognized the traditional family, while homosexual relations have been interpreted by Christianity as a sin,” the letter, signed by the deputy head of the department, V.V. Oleynik, on official letterhead, said.
“I warn you that the organizer, as well as other participants of the public event, could be held responsible in the appropriate order if the event is held with the stated goal,” the letter closed.
Alexeyev had planned the rally to commemorate the third anniversary of his successful lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg challenging Russia’s ban on Moscow’s LGBT pride march.
“This is one of the strongest denials of my right to freedom of assembly I ever received… Shocking!” Alexeyev wrote on Facebook, vowing to challenge the letter in the European Court. “This will go to courts up to Strasbourg and also to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe which monitors implementation of Alekseyev v. Russia verdict.”
Alexeyev is among the most active and controversial LGBT activists in Russia.
Moscow City Department of Regional Security to N.A. Alexeyev
MOSCOW CITY DEPARTMENT OF REGIONAL SECURITY
To Alexeyev N.A.
In accordance with your request, your application to hold a rally on October 21, 2013 from 13:00 to 14:00 on Prechistenskiye Vorota Square by the statue of F. Engels with the goal to “Call to implement the ruling of the European Court on Human Rights in the case Alexeyev vs. Russia on the illegality of bans on public gay pride events in Moscow, and also an appeal to observe the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender persons in Russia to freedom of assembly” has been considered.
On the instructions of the Deputy Mayor of Moscow in the Moscow Government, I must inform you that the subject matter denoted in the goal of the public event provokes a negative reaction in society. The Moscow Government receives requests from religious and social organizations, as well as individual citizens, not to permit the holding of such public events. They express the opinion that holding events linked with the discussion of sexual minority issues in places the public can visit openly is a provocation that morally harms children and adolescents who become involuntary witnesses to them and offends religious and moral beliefs.
The information in the text of the application to hold a public event also gives occasion to assume that the goals of the planned rally violate the bans envisioned in point 4, part 2, article 5 of Federal Law No. 436-F3 dated December 29, 2010 “On Protecting Children From Information That Harms Their Health And Development,” point 1 article 4 of Federal Law No. 124-F3 dated July 24, 1998 “On The Primary Guarantors of the Rights of Children in the Russian Federation,” and article 6.21 (Promoting non-traditional sexual relations to minors) of the Administrative Violations Code of the Russian Federation.
Prechistenskiye Vorota Square is situated in the historical center of Moscow, near the Church of Christ the Savior. Throughout the entire history of Christianity, the Orthodox church has recognized the traditional family, while homosexual relations have been interpreted by Christianity as a sin.
In connection with this, holding a public event with the stated goal could be evaluated as an offense to the feelings of religious believers and provoke unlawful actions from people who do not share the views of its participants.
On the basis of chapter 2, article 12 of the Federal Law “On Gatherings, Rallies, Demonstratoins, Processions, and Picketing” I warn you that the organizer, as well as other participants of the public event, could be held responsible in the appropriate order if the event is held with the stated goal.