The Russian National Conference of NGOs in support of the Russian LGBT movement took place on October 17-19th, 2008 in Moscow. More than 100 people from 28 Russian cities participated in it, reports www.lgbtnet.ru.
Among the participants of the Conference were Nina Tagankina, the Executive Director of the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG), Peter Oholm, a representative of the Swedish Helsinki Committee (SHC), Maxim Anmeghichean, the Programmes Director of ILGA-Europe and Matthew Shuv, a representative of the Human Rights Watch.
Igor Kohn, a well-known Russian scientist, addressed the audience at the opening of the Conference. In his statement Mr. Kohn expressed his views on the goals of LGBT movement in Russia. He stressed the fact that at present-day political situation in Russian Federation gays and lesbians had only to rely on their own. "The drowning man’s fate is in his own hands," said Kohn. "That’s the way of life in Russia."
The participants of the Conference unanimously agreed that sexual and gender identities chosen by a man or a woman on his or her own, are the same essentials of his personality as his/her origin, religion, political views, etc.
The Russian LGBT movement Plan of Actions for next 3-5 years was adopted as the result of open discussions and disputes among Conference's participants. This Plan provides for specific actions aimed at lobbying of the LGBT community interests, protection of rights of gays and lesbians, in particular, the right to become parents.
According to Igor Petrov, the Chairman of the Russian Interregional NGO "Russian LGBT Net", for the first time ever in Russia was held such a representative forum of those who support equality without distinction as to sexual orientation. "Now we can affirm that a strong LGBT movement does exist in Russia and the state and the society have to face that fact and take it into their consideration", added Mr. Petrov.
Translated by Yerdna Bananes