Coverage of LGBT issues in the Belarusian media. The results of an annual monitoring. LGBT news from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia for 19—25/09/2016

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Belarus has summarized the results of the annual monitoring of the coverage of LGBT issues in the Belarusian media. The rainbow fence in Ukraine is currently repainted second time, while before it was rusty and unnoticed for 10 years. LGBT movement activists failed to get enough votes for party-list representation in the State Duma of Russia, while the most famous Russian gay fighter Milonov succeeded.  Highlights of LGBT news from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia in one article. Digest from September 19—25, 2016.

Gaypress, Olga Kashtselian

20160923_stereotipe_gaylobbi2The initiative group «Journalists for Tolerance» presented monitoring report «Coverage of LGBT Subject in the Belarusian media for the period of 01.07.2015-30.06.2016» in Minsk. The expert group has analyzed 36 state and independent media sites of both national and regional levels.  But only 22 of them have touched on the LGBT issue. According to the report, about half of the publications contained hate speech of different degrees, from aggressive approach to usage of incorrect vocabulary. Unlike the publications of the previous years, when LGBT was mostly mentioned on the occasion of special dates, current news topics were related to accidents and special cases. Also, the expert group noted the growing number local Belarusian news topics in the media materials.

Mass media to a greater extent influences public opinion. Incorrect strategy of coverage LGBT issues in Belarusian media leeds to the spread of intolerance and hate. Hate speech expert Viola Ermakova identified several strategies implemented by journalists covering the LGBT subject. Some examples of strategies in the format of decoding LGBT abbreviation are here.

Although, not all materials contain the hate speech, use of incorrect terminalogy remains the dominant mistake in media publications. GayPress provides tips from the experts how to create a tolerant LGBT text.

On September 24th Festival of Equality was held at PRAVDA club in Zaporozhye, Ukraine.  Despite an homophobic attempt to disrupt the event by sending to the police an anonymous statement about club’s mining, the festival passed without incident. The program of the festival brought together various discriminated groups: ethnic minorities, national communities, people with disabilities, LGBT, internally displaced people and others.

The local authorities in the interview to Zaporozhye Public Television noted that nobody’s rights should be limited in a democratic society, Therefore, the Festival of Equality happened to be.

In response, the local Council of Churches organizes the «March for Life», which is dedicated to the protection of family and «traditional values» and scheduled for October, 2nd.

Several volunteers repainted at their own expense colorful fence near the Dnieper dam into colors of  Ukrainian flag. Young people interpreted the rainbow fence, painted by municipal enterprise «Titan» a month ago, as LGBT propaganda, which, in their opinion, destroys the society.

«Where have you been when the fence was rusty?!» — outraged the head of «Titan» Larisa Ishchenko, whose efforts were lost in vain.

20160829_bulat_barantaevTwo public activists of the LGBT movement from the party Parnas, 29-year-old Alexei Korolev and 33-year-old Bulat Barantaev, have failed to be elected to the State Duma №7 of Russian Federation. According to preliminary results of the elections, the two main opposition parties that someway support equal rights for all people, Yabloko and Parnas, have received just 2.03% and 0.74% votes respectively. Аt the same time, the representative of  Putin-backed party United Russia 42-year-old Orthodox sexton Vitaly Milonov has got a parliamentary mandate. In his after-election interview, he promised that his first law will not be dedicated to gays, but to the collectors. However, earlier in June 2016 Milonov has referred collectors to the gay community, adding to the acronym LGBT letter. K.

39-year-old Maria Maksakova-Igenbergs also failed to pass elections to the Russian State Duma. She was the only deputy of the 6th Duma who opposed the «Mizulina law» and tried to carry out amendments to change it homophobic vector. This time, Maria was not able even to pass the United Russia intraparty strife.

Maria, opera singer and soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre, plans to focus on a music career and try herself in the new pop genre. Last weekend she released the video for the single «Strong and Proud». The plot is about transformation from the woman in a formal dress who leaves the walls of the Russian parliament into a beautiful and free lady. Commentators interpreted this video as a throw in her former colleagues’ teeth.

The Central District Court of Tula rejected an administrative lawsuit regarding the ban of gay parade and two LGBT rallies on September, 21st. Activities in support of tolerance and respect for the rights and freedoms of LGBT people in Russia and legalization of same-sex marriages were planned for 22nd and 23d September. Currently, the similar cases are pending in Tyumen, Kaluga, Tver, St. Petersburg and Ryazan.

A movement founder Nikolai Alekseev has already announced that all the failures in coordination of gay pride parades and other LGBT activities will be brought to the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.

The activists of the Moscow Pride also sent notifications about the intentions to hold various LGBT rallies and pickets to the governments of Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Ivanovo, and Vladimir on September, 22nd. While Kostroma has faced such activities before, for the cities of Jaroslawl, Ivanovo and Vladimir this initiative became the first in their history.