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© RIA Novosti. Andrei Aleksandrov

Gay Pride back to the drawing board

by at 17/05/2011 18:14

City Hall has banned Gay Pride 2011, despite hopes for a change in the wind under mayor Sergei Sobyanin and legal expectations.

The municipal government rejected an application made on April 12 to host the event on Bolotnaya Ploshchad on May 28.

Illegal decision

The organizers say Moscow authorities have no right to ban the event.


“Of course it is illegal because the court decision, which was clear in its interpretation of article 11 of the European convention, and which we are quoting as the basis for this. It doesn’t even have any basis in Russian legislation,” Gay Pride leader Nikolai Alexeyev told The Moscow News.

Alexeyev told Interfax that “all responsibility for possible riots in the centre of Moscow on May, 28 lies with the authorities and mayor Sobyanin personally.

“The court interpreted [in October 2010] very clearly in our case. It said it is not possible to ban this event because of homophobic protestors or violence against people attending a peaceful event. They have to provide security,” he said by telephone


Parade banned for fears of violence

Alexeyev said that City Hall sent march organisers a letter, “At the moment the Moscow government is receiving a lot of complaints from representatives of state authorities and Federation subjects, religious confessions, public organisations, the Cossacks, and individual citizens demanding not to allow such a public event.”

“Many respondents think that this event could lead to a wave of protests that will grow into public order violations,” Alexeyev quoted the letter.

The authorities also cited International convention of human rights and basic freedoms from Nov 4 1950, arguing that they have a right to ban events if they could result in protests, Interfax reported.

The organisers will not back down

The Gay Pride organisers plan to ask the President Dmitry Medvedev to allow the parade in Aleksandrovsky Sad.

The movement plans to go on with their plans regardless of the ban.


Ban for homophobes

The capital’s movement is also calling for foreign countries to ban Russian officials that express homophobic views. The list of these politicians was published on GayRussia website.

“In light of this reply today we don’t see any chance of a change of policy. This is totally illegal and we will raise it with the Council of Europe,” Alexeyev said.

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