Russia’s Foremost LGBT Leader Nikolai Alekseev in Chicago Feb. 26th

The Gay Liberation Network is proud to announce that through working with activists in several other cities, we have organized a USA tour by Russian gay leader Nikolai Alekseev and GLN co-founder Andy Thayer for Feb. 26th through March 7th. 
The tour will kick off with a 2 PM, Saturday, Feb. 26th event at the Merlo Public Library, 644 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago.
LGBT activists in Russia have faced beatings, government bans, intimidation and arrests simply for trying to establish their right to demonstrate for equal rights, let alone winning the rights themselves.

All major religious denominations and political parties in the country have called for continued government repression. Yet after more than five years of “illegal” protests and legal battles in the courts, Russian LGBTs may be on the verge of a major breakthrough in the struggle for LGBT rights in Russia. If so, it will be a victory for greater Russian democracy as well.

While organizing for rights in the streets through protests, Russian LGBTs alone among the numerous opposition movements in the huge country have also pursued a lengthy battle in the Russian and international court systems. Their strategy bore fruit late last year with a sweeping, landmark victory in the European Court of Human Rights. Combined with the recent firing of virulently homophobic Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov,
Russian LGBTs now face a unique opportunity to finally win the right to demonstrate in Moscow without threats of violence or arrest.

Russian authorities are confronted with a choice: Jeopardize closer ties to Western Europe by ignoring the court ruling, or gain greater international legitimacy by being seen as a nation improving its human rights record. The answer will come on May 28 when LGBTs have scheduled Moscow Pride 2011.

Please join Russia’s foremost LGBT leader, Nikolai Alekseev of Gay Russia ( ) for a community meeting to discuss how we can win greater LGBT rights worldwide. Joining Alekseev will be Andy Thayer of the Chicago direct action LGBT rights group, Gay Liberation Network ( ), who has participated in the last two “illegal” pride demonstrations in Moscow and written extensively on the subject.

Other cities in their Feb. 26 – March 7 tour are New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and San Francisco. For more information on events in these cities, email