Global Speak Out in solidarity with Russian LGBTs

Dozens join rally outside Russian Embassy in London


London, UK – 16 March 2024

Dozens of people attended the London Speak Out against Putin’s increasing persecution of the LGBT+ community and in solidarity with Russian LGBTs who are fighting back, today, Saturday 16 March, from 2pm-4pm outside Russian Embassy in London.

Among those attending were Russian LGBTs who had fled the country.

The rally was jointly organised by All Out and the Peter Tatchell Foundation. It was one of 13 Speak Out rallies in cities worldwide, from New York to Sao Paulo, Berlin, Bangalore and Taipei.

The rally was addressed by Matt Beard of All Out and Peter Tatchell of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, plus Masha an exiled Russian lesbian.

There were chants of “2-4-6-8! Stop Russian homo hate!” and “3-5-7-9! Russian lesbians are mighty fine.”

“This Global Speak Out is in solidarity with Russia’s beleaguered LGBT+ community; to show that they are not alone or forgotten. We salute them,” said protest co-organiser, Peter Tatchell.

“Russia’s decision to label the ‘international public LGBT+ movement’ as extremist has led to a wave of repression. A woman was jailed for wearing rainbow earrings. Gay venues have been raided by police armed with semi-automatic weapons, with attendees being insulted, shoved, photographed, made to lie face down on the floor and then arrested.

“The rainbow flag has been declared a forbidden symbol and already people have been fined for posting it on social media. The new law applies retrospectively to past displays of the rainbow flag.

“A person found guilty of displaying extremist group symbols faces up to 15 days in detention for the first offence and up to four years in prison for a repeat offence. Participating in, or financing, an extremist organisation is punishable by up to 12 years in prison. LGBT+ support groups have had to go underground to avoid arrest.

“The situation for LGBT+ people within Russia has reached a critical point, with many fearing worse to come. Facing increased danger, it has become too dangerous for many LGBTs to remain in Russia. Some have fled overseas and more are preparing to leave,” said Mr Tatchell.

See this Human rights watch report: