Moscow mayor sticks to word and bans Pride Parade

Danny McCoy | May 22, 2006

MOSCOW, Russia — Moscow Mayor Yurv Luzhkov kept the promise he�s been making for months Thursday when he made an official announcement that the city�s first pride parade, scheduled for Saturday, May 27, would be cancelled.

Luzhkov said months ago he would be banning the parade to protect gays and lesbians from potential violent protests, but the gay community responded that the notoriously conservative government simply wasn�t ready to embrace such an event.

According to Reuters, the gay community issued a statement seen by the mayor that the event is designed to �promote tolerance and observance of rights and liberties of homosexual people in Russia.� Because of this, the gay community, says they will take to streets in any case.

Months ago, representatives from Gayrussia.ru, an advocacy movement for gay rights, filed an application with the City Hall to sanction the parade as a rally aimed at promoting human rights.

But City Hall dismissed the application, saying that �streets on the proposed route of the procession cannot be closed to traffic.�

Arrangements progressed, according to Reuters, with Luzhkov standing on the sidelines throughout the entire process insisting the parade would never see the light of day.

Nikolay Alexeev, head of Gayrussia.ru, told reporters they will file a complaint against the city government with the Moscow City Court.

�The authorities must offer us another route if the parade cannot be staged in this route,� he emphasized. �If they are going to disperse us, let them do it before the eyes of the world community.� – Issued by Gay Link Content

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