Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr has written to his Moscow counterpart Sergey Sobyanin urging him to reconsider the city’s ban on gay pride marches.
Gay Pride Reykjávik. Photo by Candy Caldwell.
In August Moscow’s top court upheld a ban on gay pride marches in the Russian capital for the next 100 years. Officials argue that the gay parade would risk causing public disorder and that most citizens do not support the event, bbc.co.uk reports.
In the letter, Jón writes that Reykjavík’s Gay Pride festival has had a positive impact on the city’s image and on the attitude of the public towards the LBGT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) community and is now one of the city’s biggest outdoor festivals.
“The festival has given the citizens of Reykjavík a change of heart and has led to a more progressive society – not only for LGBT people (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-sexual), but for all Icelanders,” Jón explains. “It has drawn attention to Reykjavík around the world as a city of human rights, and Icelanders are proud to be able to show the world that they live in a society that supports human rights,” the letter reads.
“People of all ages come together and celebrate the diversity of human kind. The festival is characterized by positive attitude and joy but the purpose is serious: to ensure that all people enjoy human rights, regardless of sexual orientation.”