Moscow Mayor Says 'Nyet' to Gay Pride in Russian Capital



Russian LGBT leaders will sue the city authorities up to Strasbourg



MOSCOW, July 29 (  –  Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said today that he will not allow  a Gay Pride in the Russian capital.  The planned event for next year would be the first-ever in the city.

He said that he had not yet received the application allow the Pride, but when he does, he will deny the request.

Luzhkov said that he “stands on the protection of the interests of Moscovites and they categorically would not support such an initiative” Interfax news agency reported.

Leader of the Russian lesbian movement Evgeniya Debryanskaya said that in case of refusal to allow the march she will sue the Moscow Mayor.

“Both legally and constitutionally Mayor Luzhkov can not deny to us only because we are gay,” she said.  “Being an official of such a high rank, he must understand that actions of this kind do not contradict with the constitution”.

She also added that the Moscow “authorities will probably say that they have to change the surface on the road which will be supposed to be used by the Gay Pride”.

The intention to conduct first ever gay pride in Moscow was announced by Nikolai Alekseev, Head of the Project GayRussia.Ru during the press conference in Moscow on Thursday.

He said that if the Pride application is refused, the organisers will go up to the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg.

“The right to demonstrate is guaranteed by the Russian Constitution and no mayor has the right to interfere and cancel the event,” Alekseev.  Officials are supposed to provide their help and support in order to guarantee security.”

The first Moscow pride is scheduled for May 27, 2006, the day criminal prosecution for homosexuality was abolished in 1993.

According to the Russian law the request to conduct a demonstration can not be sent earlier than 15 days and later than 10 days before the planned event.  That is the reason Moscow Mayor has not yet received the request, Alekseev explained.



29 July 2005