UK groups to protest Moscow Gay Pride ban

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

British gay campaigners will protest outside the Russian Embassy next week in opposition to the gay pride march ban in Moscow.

The demonstration is being called by the organisers of the International Day Against Homophobia and will coincide with parallel protests in other European cities.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov last week announced that the city government will not allow a gay parade “in any form” and any attempt to hold a gay event will be “resolutely quashed”

Chief Mufti of Russia’s Central Spiritual Governance for Muslims, Talgat Tajuddin said: “Muslims protests can be even worse than these notorious rallies abroad over the scandalous cartoons… The parade should not be allowed, and if they still come out into the streets, then they should be bashed,” he added.

Russian Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar added to the controversy when he said that if a gay pride was allowed to go ahead it “would be a blow for morality”. He said the Jewish community would not stand by silently and “Sexual perversions” did not have a right to exist.

Russian politicians have spoken out in favour of the mayor of Moscow. Ekaterina Lahova, who chairs a committee on women, family and youth issues, entered the debate by saying it was not “safe for the state to propagate homosexuality” and the action by the Moscow authorities in banning a gay parade was a “perfectly correct decision”.

The UK coordinator (IDAHO), Derek Lennard said: “The first Pride in Moscow is of enormous and enormous importance particularly to the LGBT communities in the Baltic and Eastern European Countries. All those who are able to take the freedom to organise Pride for granted will surely want show their support for the LGBT community in Moscow.”

The protest starts at noon next Thursday.