Odessa court and authorities ban gay parade

13.08.2015, 11:34
The request for conduct of the so-called Equality March filed by the organizers of the queer culture festival titled OdessaPride-2015was denied by Odessa city council.

The request for conduct of the so-called Equality March filed by the organizers of the queer culture festival titled Odessa Pride-2015was denied by Odessa city council.

The Department of Information and PR of Odessa City Council reported that this response was sent to Head of the Festival’s Organizing Committee Hanna Leonovaby the internal policy Department of the City Council, TSN reports.

Odessa District Administrative Court also banned a march in Odessa. According to Interfax-Ukraine, the court ruling was adopted to uphold the claim Odessa City Council, Hronika.info reports.

On August 12, 2015, the Executive Committee of Odessa City Council filed a suit with Odessa District Administrative Court against the Head of Odessa Pride 2015 Organizing Committee. Odessa City Department of the Main Directorate of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine in Odessa region also sided with the city council.

The plaintiff asked the court to restrict the right of the Head of Odessa Pride 2015 Organizing Committee to peaceful assembly by prohibiting conduct of mass public eventsin the period of August 13 to 16, 2015, including the meetings, rallies, pickets, demonstrations, marches and any other peaceful gatherings on the streets of Odessa.

Among the arguments the city council produced in its favor, was that in the city there are negative attitudes in society with respect to future events, and there is a high likelihood of violence against marchers violation of public order during the event.

In addition, the court paid due regard to football matches to be held on August14 and 16.

“Given the facts established in the proceedings, the court concluded that the conduct of Equality Marchmay pose a real danger and a threat to public order in the city, to health and lives of its participants and other citizens and guests of Odessa, which constitutes  a ground for restricting the right to peaceful assembly by prohibiting to its founders – the chairman and the secretary of Odessa Pride 2015 Organizing Committee to conduct on August 15, 2015, the Equality March in Odessa, the court argues.

Meanwhile, the day before the event organizers said that they still intend to walk along the streets of Odessa despite the opposition of the city council and threats. “If we get a formal court rulingto ban the event, we will file an appeal. If we will be prohibited to hold the demonstration on particular streets - do not worry: Odessa is large. We will not give up. Definitely, the festival will take place!” said one of the organizers of Odessa Pride 2015 AlinaRakhuba.

Participants planned to march passalong Pushkin Street, Mariyinska Street and Shevchenko Avenue. However, this route has not been agreed with the police.

According to the organizers, more than 200 peopleare already registered for the festival, including foreigners.

The organizers are also trying to negotiate with the radical forces and ultras about nonaggression.

Such an agreement, they said, has beenalready achieved with a number of pro-Ukrainian organizations - Self-Defense of Odessa, AvtoMaydan and the Right sector. However, ordinary organizations members do not hide their desire to oppose the Equality March. Head of the Right Sector’s Odessa branch SerhiySternenko said: “We will neither beat gays nor will we allow conducting the march.”In his view, the event is a provocation.

Representatives of the clergy spoke out categorically against the march. A number of representatives of various religious denominations held a press conference at which they said that the event in Odessa would be a direct violation of the biblical commandments and would undoubtedly lead participants into a fiery hell and the society - to the events similar to those of May 2, 2014. In connection with this they appealed to Odessa City Council with a request to ban the march.

As previously reported, the festival dedicated to alternative sexual cultures, has been scheduled for August 14-16.