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1999 News & Events

Russia: Gays Dropped from Diseased List

November 19, 1999. The Russian Health Ministry's new classification of mental and behavior disorders no longer categorizes "homosexual orientation" as a "personality disturbance" or any other kind of problem. The change was reported to the International Lesbian and Gay Association Nov. 17 by Prof. T.B. Dmitrieva, director of the Serbsky National Research Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry.


Russia: Ground-Breaking Tour of Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles

The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles came to Russia in October, singing concerts on two of the country's most venerable stages in a visit that also wound up stirring debate on a subject rarely discussed publicly here-homosexuality. The chorus, which was established in 1979, sang a program of classical, folk and Broadway tunes Saturday in Moscow's Tchaikovsky Hall and Sunday in St. Petersburg's Glinka Choral Hall to an audience response one singer called "overwhelming." The fact that the tour turned out to be more than just a couple of concerts was due, in large measure, to the quasi-divine intervention of Russia's uber-mega-superstar, pop diva Alla Pugachova who combines the iconic stature of Barbra Streisand the earthy showmanship of Bette Midler. Full text...

Los Angeles Times

Ukraine: Our World Obtains Official Registration

Nash Mir (Our World) Gay and Lesbian Center has been registered as non-governmental organization in Ukraine. The certificate No. 408 of November 30, 1999, was issued by the Department of Justice in Lugansk Region. In April 1999 the local Ukrainian Department of Justice refused the state registration of Our World on formal grounds. The refusal was allegedly not connected with the gay nature of the organization. However, there was strong evidence, including informal statements by the officials, to the contrary. The appeal was laid with a district court, but the suit failed.

Our World appealed to international organizations. Amnesty International carried out a campaign for support of Our World Center. The Ministry and the Department of Justice received support letters from all the world requiring them to register the organization. Ukrainian branch of Soros Foundation Network (Renaissance Foundation) lobbied the issue in the Ministry of Justice and rendered legal assistance. Regrettably, Our World got virtually no support from Ukrainian human rights organizations. Only Ukrainian section of the International Society for Human Rights supported them on the domestic level.

These efforts and the combined pressure on the Ukrainian authorities made the official registration of Our World possible.

Our World

Ukraine: Violent Police Raid on Kiev Gay Club

In the morning on October 22, 1999 a group 22 policemen from the Kiev Department For Organized Crime broke into Kiev night club Kletka (Kutuzov Avenue). A personal search was performed on club visitors with application of force and without a warrant. The camera shots were done without consent of the interviewees. Club visitors were subjected to verbal abuses and threatened with forced psychiatric treatment. The power representatives alleged that the club was actually illegal since the majority of the visitors were gays. Approximately forty persons were detained during 4 hours. The visitors were denied the right to contact their relatives and lawyers. Mr. Fedotov, a co-owner of the club, was beaten. Other visitors were humiliated and smashed with condom boxes and stacks of gay magazines sold in the club. Mr. Fedotov's personal money was confiscated, while he was forced to sign a document stating that he voluntarily contributed his money to the Socialist Party of Ukraine for Mr. Moroz presidential campaign. During the raid the policemen consumed drinks and food from the club bar. There is no follow-up or any official excuses to club visitors.

Press Release by Kletka Management

Ukraine: Anti-Aids Program

Later this year the UNO's program of population and the non-governmental organization The International Federation of Family Planning will start funding the activity in the sphere of the propaganda of safe sexual behavior among sexual workers (prostitutes) and homosexuals, as well as the project of maintaining the reproductive health of youth. This is the first-ever special program that will be fulfilled in Ukraine. The activity will be put into effect in Kiev, Kherson, Lvov, Dnepropetrovsk and Kharkov. The total budget will reach 260 thousand pounds. In collaboration with the Ukrainian partners the IPPF is planning to distribute 2.5 million condoms among the risk groups in Ukraine over the period of 1999-2000. One of the partners from the Ukrainian side is the Ukrainian Association of Family Planning, which has already started developing two programs titled "Be careful, safe and happy" and "Prevention of HIV among men who practice sex with other men".

Our World

Ukraine: Male Beauty Contest

On February 14, 1999, the new Kiev night gay-club "Heaven" hosted the contest "Mister Gay Ukraine-98" announced by the Ukrainian magazine "Odyn Z Nas" (One Of Us). According to the publication, over one hundred people from all across the country applied in response to the offer. The jury, consisting of the magazine's representatives, a cinema and TV director, a designer and a representative of gay-biz, took the creative approach to the evaluation of the contenders. The competition was won by the young man from Poltava named Vlad, "who demonstrated the highest level of preparedness to the event and, probably, the greatest responsibility".

"As to spectators, their opinions at times were different from that of the jury. Some expected an overtly erotic show and thought that the contest turned out to be too artsy and somewhat refined chaste. Others were shocked by the very fact of the festival's holding, as they got used to restraining their own emotions and conceal their preferences from the people around", the magazine tells.

Our World

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