Europe » Belarus
Gay Guide Belarus
Homophobic attitude, suspicions and prejudices are very strong in Belarus, although homosexuality was decriminalized in 1994. According to the study of the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, conducted in the beginning of 2010, 62% of Belarusians believe that homosexuals should be criminally persecuted. In general, few LGBT persons openly declare their sexual orientation. While it is easier to openly live in the capital and largest city, Minsk, LGBT people living in other places, especially in small towns and in rural areas, can face discrimination by the local population. Negative statements about homosexuals by President Lukashenka in 2004, 2010 and 2011 also demonstrate that homophobic attitudes exist at the highest levels of government. In December 2010, addressing the All-Belarusian Peoples Assembly in Minsk, Lukashenka proclaimed that there are no sexual minorities in Belarus. On February 19, 2011, Lukashenka told the media that he condemned 'faggotism'. From 2004 through 2006 three foreign diplomats had been expelled from the country on the pretext of their sexual orientation. The currently effective legislation provides no protection to victims in cases of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Police refuse to register cases of brutality committed against representatives of sexual minorities and do not conduct investigations in cases of crimes motivated by homophobic prejudice. The police also conduct unprovoked actions in bars and cruising areas frequented by homosexuals. Belarusian LGBT organizations have never been registered by the state and operate illegally. Their members have been targeted as hate crime victims many times. The vague wording of the amendments of the Criminal Code (December 2005) provides wide discretionary powers to the authorities allowing them to label activities of LGBT groups as illegal attempts to discredit or harm the Belarusian state.
Cities in Belarus
Name: Weißrussland · Biélorussie · Bielorrussia · Russia Bianca
Location: Eastern Europe
International country code: 375 (omit 0 from area code)
International access code: 8 (wait for tone) 10
Language: Belarusian, Russian
Area: 207,595 km² / 80,154 sq mi.
Currency: 1 Belarusian Ruble (BYR) = 100 Kopecks
Religions: 60% Russian Orthodox, 8% Roman Catholic
Climate: Summer is warm but wet, while winter is grey and very cold.