The Limerick Pride committee and Mr Gay Limerick, Christian Moretti organised a demonstration on Bedford Row to protest the rounding up of gay men to concentration camps in Chechnya and the protest and Limerick people came out to show their support.
Louise McCormack, Chairperson of Limerick Pride Festival 2017 tells me, “This is the first time since World War 2 that gay people have been rounded up and put in camps like this. We are privileged to live in the first country to bring in marriage equality in the world by popular vote. Ireland is a tolerant, fair country and we feel a duty to the LGBTQ community in Chechnya to stand up and lobby for their release. It’s heartbreaking to watch videos of the treatment of our brothers, people just like us, in 2017 who are being beaten and killed over their sexuality.”
Mr Moretti, an LGBTQI activist, Limerick secondary school teacher, and current Mr Gay Limerick 2016/2017 also commented on the issue ongoing in Chechnya stating, “The concerning part of their attack is the fact that they deny the existence of gay men in their territories. Of course, as we all know in Europe, these men do exist and have been taken to concentration camps. This is all we know. We do not know anything about their welfare, what sort of tortures they are suffering and, indeed, we do not know if they are alive.”
The people of Limerick can help by donating to help get gay people evacuated from Chechnya at www.gogetfunding.com/evacuate-lgbt-from-chechnya and also by signing the petition on www.change.org.