By Teo Valenti in Paris
PARIS, May 14, 2010 - MPs from Belarus have told their French counterparts that the decision to ban the Baltic Gay Pride parade in Minsk tomorrow was taken by the city authorities.
The delegation of Belarusian MPs visiting the French Parliament was quizzed yesterday by their French peers about the ban of the Slavic Gay Pride in Minsk on the final day of their four-day visit to France.
French MPs were told that the city authorities wanted to avoid backlash in the streets of the capital with other citizens who oppose the gay march.
The Belarusian delegation also stressed that if the events took place in a private place, no restriction would be made.
Louis Georges Tin, the founder and president of the IDAHO Committee, who asked the French parliamentarians to raise the issue, said: "We are thankful to the French MPs who raised the issue with their Belarusian counterpars.
"It is important to show to the Belarusian politicians that other countries are watching their record on LGBT rights".
Speaking from Minsk this morning, Sergey Androsenko, organiser of Slavic Pride commented: "This is exactly the kind of political support we do need."
He added that the remark made by the Belarus delegation that there was no problem with Slavic Pride events that were held in private was "interesting", as there is a planned screening of the gay Canadian documentary film Beyond Gays, the Politics of Pride this evening.
As far as the ban on the march goes, the reason given to the French Parliament contradicts what the letter sent to Pride organisers said - it did not cite security reasons.
The letter told organisers that the planned march would contravene Article 9 on the staging of public events which says that "public events are not allowed at the distance of less than 200 metres from underground pedestrian crossings and metro stations".