2008-06-11 15:52:00

Kazakhstan to have its first gay parade

Almaty, June 11, Interfax - Kazakhstan's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Association said on Wednesday it plans what would be the country's first gay and lesbian parade for June 21.

The aim of the parade, to be held in Almaty, is "to shape a tolerant public attitude to sexual minorities and launch an effective dialogue on principles of tolerance," the association said in a statement.

Visitors from Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine would take part in the event, in addition to members of the association, the statement said.

The event would also include a concert on one of the city's squares. "In addition, information materials and contraceptives will be handed out free of charge," the association said.

The Soros Foundation Kazakhstan and Open Society Institute support the association.

Almaty Mayor Sergey Kuyanov told Interfax, however, that the city authorities "have received no request for official permission for a gay parade in Almaty from any sexual minority [and that] in view of the fact that there will be school leaving celebrations in Almaty on June 21, this information is either a provocative scheme or an information hoax."