Major Moscow gay club shut down

By |2018-01-16T06:01:16-05:00January 21st, 2010|News|

by Rex Wockner

International News Briefs

Moscow’s oldest gay dance club has been indirectly shut down by the city, GayRussia.ru reported Dec. 31.
Club Body & Soul had been targeted by Moscow Northern District Prefect Oleg Mitvol, who claimed it brought drug trafficking, prostitution, public sex and moral degradation to the neighborhood.
The club’s lease was canceled by its landlord, the Society of Blind People, which said it acted after being threatened with a loss of city subsidies if it didn’t evict the club.
The society’s vice president, State Duma Deputy Oleg Smolin, is a political rival of Mitvol.
Club management has filed suit over the eviction and vowed to pursue the case as far as the European Court of Human Rights.
Leading gay activist Nikolai Alekseev alleged that the shutdown was another example of government corruption that he said has burdened nongovernmental organizations and gay businesses.
Body & Soul had been in operation since 2003 and attracted around 2,000 patrons on weekend nights. Its closure leaves Moscow, which has 10.5 million residents, with one large gay dance bar.

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