Two-hundred people gathered outside Berlin’s Russian embassy yesterday in protest of anti-gay legislation which is spreading through the country.
The demonstration was attended by LGBT activists as well as members of the German Bundestag, the Berlin parliament and representatives from trade unions.
“We express solidarity with the LGBT community in Russia,” said Marieluise Beck (Green Party) Head of the Commission on Eastern European Politics in the German Bundestag.
“No one forced Russia to join the Council of Europe. Joining, however, Russia signed under the European Convention on Human Rights, which includes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
Social Democrat, Tom Schreiber, a parliamentary member in Berlin, added: “I will insist that issues of discrimination against the LGBT community in Russia is regularly raised in Berlin and will make every effort to ensure that these discussions result in specific resolutions backed up by specific support.”
During the demonstration, participants signed a petition to the deputies of the St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly and the Governor of St. Petersburg, which will be handed over to them in the near future.
After the meeting protestors marched through the main streets of Berlin.
The demonstrators chanted slogans against homophobia in Russia and passersby showed their support.
The demonstration ended at Potsdamer Platz – the very heart of the Berlin and the focus of the Berlinale Film Festival. The head of the Berlinale Section “Panorama” and founder of the Teddy Award Wieland Speck spoke to demonstrators:
“The representation of gays and lesbians in the arts and culture can not be denied. Every year there are more and more LGBT films in those countries where this topic has been previously a taboo. We will continue to support the St. Petersburg Side by Side Film Festival which is fighting for a space within the public domain for LGBT people in Russia.”