2007-09-12 13:03:00

Moscow authorities ban gay rights activists from picketing healthcare ministry

Moscow, September 12, Interfax - Moscow's Central Administrative District Prefecture has banned a picket by gay rights activists outside the Russian Healthcare and Social Development Ministry to protest its decision to ban homosexuals from acting as blood donors.

"Moscow authorities are continuing their policy which deprives homosexuals of their constitutional rights. It is obvious that the event in question has nothing to do with a gay pride parade, and no one is against it being held," organizer of the protest and of the failed Moscow gay pride parade Nikolay Alexeyev told Interfax.

The picket was due to be held on Friday by 25 people near the entrance to the ministry's building in central Moscow, he said. The prefecture was notified accordingly on Monday as required by law.

The protestors "wanted to raise the issue of violation of the civil rights of sexual minorities, in particular, their discrimination as far as becoming blood donors is concerned," he said.

On September 14, 2001, the Russian Healthcare Ministry issued Order 364, "Regulations for a blood donor medical examination," which ban homosexuals from acting as blood donors.