by Rex Wockner
Gay activists in Minsk, Belarus, applied to the city government March 4 for permission to hold a "March of Equality" on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
Last year, the city’s Executive Committee banned a gay pride march and, when activists ignored the ban, several of them were aggressively arrested for taking part in an unsanctioned public action.
Moscow Pride founder Nikolai Alekseev, who joined that march, said police were "brutal and violent."
This year, the organizers’ application expanded the scope of the proposed march to include several other minority groups in hopes of improving the odds of getting city approval and reducing hostility from anti-gay protesters.
The march, if approved, will wrap up four days of "Festival of Equality" events that include a film screening, a photo exhibition, and other activities.