Sir Ian McKellen has called the Mayor of Moscow a coward, as the outspoken actor gives his support to Saturday’s illegal Moscow Pride March.
Once more city authorities have banned the march, but gay rights activists have said they will defy the ban and hold it regardless.PinkNews reports that Ian McKellen has shared his disappointment with Moscow’s authorities failing to take positive action.
“The mayor of Moscow is a coward,” the Gandalf actor announced. “Rather than face the fact that Muscovite gays and lesbians should be valued on a par with their straight peers, he panders to the right wing. He throws them some red meat, some gays, to gnaw on.
“In the 1980s, Mrs Thatcher once did the same in the United Kingdom but she was eventually defeated totally by the efforts of gay people, their families and friends, who joined together to fight injustice,” he adds.
“I send my heart-felt support for your bravery in marching on 28 May in the land of Tchaikovsky, Diaghilev and Nureyev. Good luck.”
Activists had applied to hold the event in Bolotnaya Ploshchad city park on Saturday the 28th of May, but were disappointed when Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s administration turned down the request, citing a risk of public disorder.
Even though last October the European Court of Human Rights ruled that bans on Moscow Pride contravene international human rights laws, this now makes the sixth year in a row that the city authorities have banned the event.
Considering Brisbane Pride is just around the corner, our thoughts turn to Moscow as we reflect on how much we take what we have for granted.