Gays Concerned as Poll Shows 63% of Belarusians OK to Re-Criminalise Homosexuality

MINSK, June 7, 2010 ( - A poll released last week by the Belarusian Institute 'Novak' suggested that 63% of Belarusian are in favour of returning a soviet law repealed in 1994 which criminalized homosexuality.

43.2% of the respondents say they completely agree with returning the law into force with an additional 19.5% rather agreeing. On the opposite side, only 6.2% completely agree that the rights of people of non-traditional sexual orientation should not be limited with an additional 10.6% rather agreeing with the statement. 20.2% of the respondents remain neutral.

The results are in line with a poll ordered by GayRussia from the same institute and released last autumn on the issue of freedom of assembly for LGBT people.

In October 2009, 61.9% of Belarusians were against homosexuals having the right to organize peaceful marches in major cities against 14.1% who supported it and 24% who were rather indifferent. In Minsk, 25.9% were supporting this right.

"This is exactly why we need a Gay Pride March in Minsk" said Sergey Androsenko, leader of the Belarusian LGBT movement. "We have to show that we are not different than from one else".

Nikolai Alekseev, chief organiser of Moscow Pride added: "The Gay Pride campaign in Russia has created a stream of media interest on our community, we very much hope that the same will happen in Belarus.

"It is only by widely showing ourselves to the society that we can combat widespread stereotypes."

On May 16, 12 participants to the Slavic Gay Pride in Minsk were arrested by the anti-riot police while marching in the city centre with a 12-meter-long Rainbow flag. The City authorities had banned the march.


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