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Moscow mayor vows never to permit gay parade, calls it 'satanic'
The Associated Press
Monday, January 29, 2007
Moscow's mayor vowed Monday never to allow a gay rights parade, calling such events "satanic," but activists said they would defy a city ban to hold what would be the Russian capital's first gay rights parade.
Yury Luzhkov and city authorities had barred activists from staging a parade last year, citing the threat of violence. Activists ignored the ban, and were pummeled by right-wing protesters and detained by police.
Speaking at a Kremlin event attended by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Luzhkov again lambasted gay and lesbian groups:
"Last year, Moscow came under unprecedented pressure to sanction the gay parade, which can be described in no other way than as satanic," he said to applause in comments broadcast on a city-controlled TV channel. "We did not let the parade take place then, and we are not going to allow it in the future."
He also charged that Western countries were facing a crisis of religious faith and were corrupting children.
"Some European nations bless single-sex marriages and introduce sexual guides in schools. Such things are a deadly moral poison for children," RIA-Novosti quoted Luzhkov as saying.
Meanwhile, Russian gay activists said they were challenging the city's ban of their parade in an appeal to the European Court for Human Rights, and pledged to hold a similar march in late May.
"Trying to silence us, the Russian authorities denied us one of the fundamental human rights. The European justice will have the last say in this case," activist and parade organizer Nikolai Alexeyev said in a statement posted on the Web site gayrussia.ru.
The issue of holding a gay parade last year split Moscow's gay community, many of whom say that Russian society is still too conservative and a parade would only provoke more violence from radical groups.
Gay rights activists estimate that 5-8 percent of Russia's 143 million people are gay and lesbian.
Mayor Luzhkov vows to prevent gay pride parade in Moscow
Moscow, January 29, Interfax - Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has vowed to prevent any gay pride parade in the Russian capital.
Supporters of a gay pride parade, "which can only be defined a satanic act," put pressure on Moscow authorities last year, he said at the 15th Christmas Readings in Moscow on Monday. "We did not allow that parade then, and we would not do that in the future," he said.
Luzhkov thanked Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II for support in withstanding "the unprecedented pressure the Moscow government and the mayor are experiencing from the West."
The mayor regretted that "religious institutions at various levels and secular authorities [of some European countries] bless same-sex marriages, and sexual manuals are made part of the school curriculum from the very first year of school."
"Supporters of such educational projects have emerged in Russia. They are enjoying generous grants from caring Western 'enlighteners'," Luzhkov said. "We think that destructive sects and propaganda of same-sex love are inadmissible. We staunchly oppose drug use and drug trafficking, a terrible crime that so far does not find worthy punishment in our laws," he said.
"It is time to crush criminals with the entire rightful weight of the law instead of falling into the swamp of human rights debates," he said. "We will never give up the fight against chauvinism, intolerance, hatred and violence, because such crimes may have irreparable consequences."
Russian gays plan to stage another pride parade in May in Moscow
Moscow, January 29, Interfax - Russian gay activists plan to stage another parade in support of the rights of the rights of sexual minorities on May 27, 2007, a year after the failed attempt, Nikolay Alexeyev, the organizer of the action, has informed Interfax.
‘The parade will take place notwithstanding any decision the authorities make. However, should the action be banned again we will go to the Strasburg court. The authorities should obey the law, which they demand of people,’ he said.
On Monday the organizers of the first gay parade in Moscow have filed a suit with the European Court of Human Rights against Russia demanding 20,000 Euros in damages.
Alexeyev stressed that with regard to the holding of a gay parade in Moscow ‘the situation this year is unique’ in that ‘no state in the Council of Europe member countries has faced complaints in the European Court against its ban on a gay parade for two years in a row’.
The complaint the organizers of a gay parade in Warsaw lodged to the European Court against the ban on it in 2005 ‘though still considered, helped to obtain permission of a similar parade in summer 2006’, Alexeyev remarked.
‘If the Constitution and the law declare the right to parades and other public actions the authorities are obliged to ensure this right and the security of the participants’, he said.
He said another notification on holding a gay pride parade has been sent to Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov ‘in the time required by law’.
Organizers of Moscow gay pride parade want compensation from Russia
Moscow, January 29, Interfax - Organizers of the Moscow gay pride parade have filed a suit with the European Court of Human Rights against Russia demanding 20,000 Euros in damages, Nikolay Alexeyev, chief organizer of the action, told Interfax on Monday.
"Finally, one will stop considering us as second-class citizens without any rights. Thanks to the authorities we have the image of people who cannot protect their rights," he said.
In particular, Russia, through its state agencies, violated Articles 11, 13 and 14 of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights, which relate to the right to peaceful actions, the right to effective legal representation and ban discrimination, respectively, the organizers argued in their suit.
The ban imposed on the parade also violates Russian legislation and provisions of the European convention ratified by Russia, the claim reads.
The official notification on holding a gay pride parade was submitted to the Moscow City Hall on May 15, 2006. The authorities banned the action on May 18.
The ban was appealed with the Tverskoy District Court in Moscow, which banned the action the day before it was due to take place. The Moscow City Court upheld the ruling of the district court after hearing an appeal from the organizers of the action.
The organizers turned to the presidium of the Moscow City Court with another appeal on November 13. However, the court ruled on December 25 that "previous court rulings give no grounds to question their legality."