Moscow mayor stands by decision to ban pride

Danny McCoy | June 06, 2006

Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov
MOSCOW — Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov is standing by his decision to ban what was to be the first ever Pride Parade in Russia�s capital, saying Russia is morally cleaner than the West, which is caught up in �mad licentiousness,� according to Reuters.

Gay activists fought until the eleventh hour to hold their celebration of gay rights and protest against homophobia last weekend, but were detained by police and protested by religious rights activists upholding the mayor�s ban. Gay activists told Reuters they intended to lay flowers at the grave of the unknown warrior, a monument to those who died fleeing Nazi Germany, but were prevented from doing so by police. Luzhkov called the intended action a desecration of the sacred monument.

�Our way of life, our morals and our tradition – our morals are cleaner in all ways,� he told local radio, according to Reuters. �The West has something to learn from us and should not race along in this mad licentiousness. We may have a democratic country, but we live in an organized country and an organized city.�

The protest was originally intended as the city�s first Gay Pride parade, but quickly turned ugly as women began hurling eggs and fruit at the activists, while shouting �Moscow is not Sodom.�

Luzhkov said the violent reaction of the crowd was the initial reason he banned the event: To ensure the safety of all.

Several gay activists who were arrested when they arrived at the park with flowers said the mere fact of holding the protest was a victory. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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