Scottish protests against Russia’s anti-gay law

Russia's hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympics has come under scrutiny. Picture: Getty
Russia's hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympics has come under scrutiny. Picture: Getty
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Equality campaigners are to protest outside the Russian Consulate today against anti-gay laws in the country.

Legislation passed by Russia’s lower house of parliament in June makes it illegal to give “homosexual propaganda” to children.

Gay people have been physically and verbally attacked in the country, particularly since the law came into affect.

Scotland’s Equality Network has organised a demonstration outside the consulate in Edinburgh this afternoon to protest against the law.

Calls have also been made for Glasgow City Council leaders to cut ties with Rostov-on-Don, the Russian city with which it has been twinned since 1986.

A petition has been signed by more than 500 people and Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Sadie Docherty, has now written to the mayor of Rostov-on-Don about the new law.

Stephen Fry also raised his concerns about the situation in Russia in a strongly worded open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this week.

The writer, actor and television presenter called for next year’s winter Olympics in Sochi to be taken away from Russia in a letter which was also addressed to International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge and British Olympic Association chairman Lord Coe.

Fry says he believes the anti-gay stance of the Russian parliament is incompatible with the ethos of the Olympic movement and compared Russia hosting the Games next year with Nazi Germany’s staging of the summer Olympics under Adolf Hitler in 1936.

“It is simply not enough to say that gay Olympians may or may not be safe in their village. The IOC absolutely must take a firm stance on behalf of the shared humanity it is supposed to represent against the barbaric, fascist law that Putin has pushed through the Duma (Russian parliament),” Fry wrote.

Scottish Green party leader Patrick Harvie will join protesters in Edinburgh.

He said: “As Scotland prepares to join the progressive nations of the world by allowing same-sex marriage, it’s vital we don’t forget that in many other places, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are under severe attack.

“Russia’s crackdown on LGBT people’s freedom and dignity is deeply shocking, and we have a duty to show their government that Scotland opposes these human rights abuses and the prejudice which underlies them.”