Apr 142012

The first court hearing in the in the history of Saint-Petersburg on charges of promoting homosexuality will take place on 16 April at 14:30. The defendants are chairman of the Russian LGBT Network, Igor Kochetkov, and lawyer Sergey Kondrashov. The trial will be held at 4 Sovetskaya Street, 26 (judicial section 210). After the trial, Kochetkov and Kondrashov will give remarks at a street press conference.

The defendants were arrested on 7 April outside of the Big Concert Hall Oktyabrsky during the Day of Silence, a street protest against the silencing and discrimination of gays, lesbians, and transexuals. Police decided that Kochetkov’s and Kondrashov’s slogans (“No to the
silencing of hate crimes against gays and lesbians” and “One of our family’s friends is a lesbian. My wife and I love and respect her, her way of life is normal like ours, and her family is socially equal to ours,” respectively) violate the new law that prohibits “the propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality, and transgenderism among minors” in St. Petersburg.

Several days ago, Sergey Kondrashov released an open letter as a representative of the heterosexual majority to prime minister Vladimir Putin. The letter was signed by more than 50,000 people on AllOut.org. In his letter, Sergey urges the prime minister to repeal the anti-constitutional law in St. Petersburg and to prevent its adoption on the Federal level.

LGBT Organization Coming Out is following the events and offering legal and informational support to those arrested.