Hundreds March In New York To Protest Anti-Gay Purge In Chechnya

Voices 4 Chechnya supporters marched from Stonewall Inn to Trump Tower.

Organized by grassroots group Voices 4 Chechnya, hundreds of New Yorkers marched Saturday afternoon to protest the detainment and persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya.

Led by Voices 4 Chechnya founder and LGBT activist Adam Eli, protesters congregated at the Stonewall National Monument, birthplace of the modern gay liberation movement, before marching up Sixth Avenue to Trump Tower at United Nations Plaza.

“No murder, no hate!” they chanted. “Change in Chechnya cannot wait!”

Among those in the crowd were actor Matthew Wilkas, adult film star Tayte Hanson, and Voices 4 Chechnya founding member Dan Donigan a.k.a. RuPaul’s Drag Race queen Milk.

Voices 4 Chechnya is demanding humanitarian visas for LGBT community members who have escaped from Chechnya and are now hiding in Russian safe houses. Their march also raised money for RUSA LGBT, an advocacy group for Russian-Speaking American LGBT people and their allies.

See more photos from the Voices 4 Chechnya rally and march below.

@voices4_ IS HERE

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PROTECT OUR LGBTQ+ FAMILY

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🌈 Queer is always welcome here 🌈 — 📸: @tayteehanson

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We should NEVER live in fear

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Reports began surfacing in April that authorities in Chechnya were detaining, torturing, and even murdering gay men. Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has repeatedly denied these reports, claiming that there no gay men living in the predominantly Muslim Russian republic.

The Canadian charity Rainbow Railroad has teamed up with the Russian LGBT Network to successfully help more than 30 men escape Chechnya by providing emergency visas and travel arrangements to Canada. Rainbow Railroad also reports that it has been in contact with 140 more people seeking asylum.

While the Russian government has done little to address the crisis in Chechnya, world leaders like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have decried the atrocities. The U.S. State Department has called reports of the anti-gay pogrom “troubling,” but Donald Trump has yet to address the issue.

Logo has joined forces with MTV and HRC to urge the White House to help stop the injustice in Chechnya. Click here to join the call for an official statement from the president on the ongoing attacks on Chechnya’s LGBT community.

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