During a panel discussion in connection with the 2nd International LGBT Film Festival "Side by Side" in St. Petersburg, there were more confidant cries to balance the rights of homosexuals and victims of political repession who were convicted under the Soviet Union regime.
Both groups of Russian citizens should gain equal government benefits, and sentences that were imposed upon them should be removed. Vadim Kozin, Sergei Paradzhanov, Gennadi Trifonov, other celebrities and ordinary victims of article 121 should be rehabilitated.
Leaders of the Russian LGBT Network announced the beginning of the campaign to recognize homosexuals convicted in the USSR as victims of political repression, reports the press agency of the festival. The declaration of the Russian LGBT Network evoked a mixed reaction among jury members of the film festival. According to Igor Kon, "it would be much more important for society to adopt laws on prosecution of discrimination, hate crimes and offensive speech on the grounds of sexual orientation." Igor Kon also recognized the sensibility of legalizing same-sex marriages.
The Executive Director of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Nina Tagankina, believes that today the adoption of a law about the rehabilitation of homosexuals is unlikely...
Recall that article 121 of the Universal Codex of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic affected the fates of many thousands of people. From 1930-1980s, around 1000 men were convicted every year under the article and sent to prison camps. Toward the end of the 1980s, those numbers began to decrease. According to statistics of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, the number of people convicted in 1989 was 538, in 1990 - 497, in 1991 - 462 and in the first half of 1992 - 227.
Translated by Timothy Grishin