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The next time you think that gay marriage is all we need…

The next time you think that gay marriage is all we need…

Check out what’s happening in Moscow.  The LGBT community not only can’t get married whatsoever (nor is it on the horizon anytime soon), then have no right to assemble publicly.  At all.  Ever. For the next 100 years:

Earlier, Tverskoy district court ruled lawful the decision of the Moscow municipal government to ban public events that can be qualified as gay parades from March 2012 till May 2112.

Nikolay Alekseyev, one of the leaders of the Russian LGBT community and organizer of gay pride events, told reporters that he intended to appeal the decision in the Moscow City Court Presidium, and that if the highest Russian instance also rules against him, to address the European Court of Human Rights.

Alekseyev explained to the reporters that in 2011, the activists found a loophole in Russian legislation and submitted requests for 102 gay pride parades to the Moscow Mayor’s office. According to the activist, all they got in return was a letter with a quote from regulations, although the law obliges the city authorities to either allow or ban the planned event within 15 days.

At the same time, Alekseyev admitted that he and his comrades never hoped to actually receive a license for the parade but simply needed a formal excuse to turn to the European Human Rights Court.

“They refuse our requests every time, but in Strasbourg they recognize these rulings as unlawful. But time does not stand still, we ask for a new event and again they refuse us,” the activist noted.

On one occasion, though, Muscovite gay rights activists found a way to the streets – after they quibbled the authorities to get access. About 70 people marched on one of Moscow’s quays under rainbow banners in early June and managed to hold a two-hour rally calling for freedom of assembly and organization for sexual minorities.

The rally was not officially announced as a gay pride event, as the organizers initially applied for a permit to hold “a rally against all types of discrimination.”

This year the Russian government started an active campaign against so-called gay propaganda – a special law was approved and signed into force in St. Petersburg, prompting a group of parliamentarians to suggest approving a similar law on a nationwide scale. Two people have already been brought to justice in St. Petersburg for displaying a poster reading “Being gay is normal” in the street near a kindergarten.

The bill has been widely criticized by Russia’s LGBT and human rights activists as well as international human rights groups. Protest rallies by Russian consulates took place in many countries throughout the world.

In another piece that you can file under, “Gee, the world doesn’t revolve around me at all, does it?”, the HRC released the results of a survey in which they talked to 10,000 LGBT kids.  Only 37% of them are happy with their lives:

Worried mostly about being accepted by their families and school bullying, only 37 percent of LGBT youth in the US consider themselves happy, according to a study released Thursday by the Human Rights Campaign.

HRC interviewed 10,000 self-identified LGBT youth ages 13-17 for its landmark‘Growing Up LGBT in America’ survey.

Here is a sampling of some of the comments from those surveyed:

‘It makes me afraid to walk around knowing there are people in my hometown that hate me and people like me.”

“I want to be able to go to school without being called a faggot and a dyke bitch.”

“It’s hard. Very hard. My own best friend doesn’t know about the real me & I’m scared to tell her because it might ruin our friendship.”

The poll marks the start of new HRC President Chad Griffin’s tenure as head of the largest civil rights organization in the US.

He calls the poll results ‘an urgent call to action.’

‘Growing up in small-town Arkansas, I remember what it’s like to not know a single other gay person,’ Griffin says. ‘Now I think about the LGBT youth that lie awake and stare at the ceiling for hours, dreading the next day at school or worrying that their parents will reject them.’

Griffin says that in addition to worries about the future, the pressure of school, and stress of peer relationships that all teens face, LGBT youth have the additional burden of being twice as likely to be harassed as their straight peers.

Among the report’s key findings:

* Over one-half of LGBT youth (54 percent) say they have been verbally harassed and called names involving anti-gay slurs.

* Nearly half of LGBT youth (47 percent) say they do not ‘fit in’ in their community while only 16 percent of non-LGBT youth feel that way.

* 67 percent of straight youth describe themselves as happy but this number drops to 37 percent among LGBT young people.

* 83 percent of LGBT youth believe they will be happy eventually, but only 49 percent believe they can be happy if they stay in the same city or town.

* 6 in 10 LGBT youth say their family is accepting of LGBT people, while a third say their family is not.

* 92 percent say they hear negative messages about being LGBT – 60 percent say those messages come from elected leaders.

Griffin says elected leaders need to see and understand the poll’s results and know how their words and actions are affecting kids. He is encouraging people to send the poll results to elected officials.

So, the next time you’re about to mount up the pulpit and start whining about how gay marriage will cure all of the LGBT societal ills, take a moment:

1.  Yes, it absolutely IS important.  It is not, however, the silver bullet.

2.  Others in the community have needs that aren’t being addressed in the slightest and the conversations around them are minimal to non existent.

3.  The world is alot bigger than just us.


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