Minsk authorities have denied a request for permit to hold a Gay Pride Parade organized by the Belarusian LBTQ community. The prohibition came despite the recent comment by President Lukashenka who said during a press conference on October 7th that he would not have banned „a gay parade [if it was held] somewhere at the outskirts of the city“, which was recalled in a press release issued by the organizers.
Organizers received today a letter from the City Council informing that the parade cannot take place in the suggested venue because it would disrupt order, pedestrian traffic and public transport.
GayBelarus, an organizer of the parade, announced that they would attempt to have their organization registered with the Ministry of Justice.
Homosexualism was decriminalized in Belarus only in 1994, but according to data collected by the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies – 62% of Belarusians would support criminal prosecution of homosexuals. GayBelarus website lists a number of hate crimes perpetrated or condoned by the state. Also, the Belarusian democratic opposition is not free from homophobia, and – according to GayBelarus website – in 2010 Young Front and Right Alliance members tried to disrupt a LGBT concert.