Moscow bans gay Pride march again

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Moscow has once again denied permission for a gay Pride march.

Activists applied to hold the event in Bolotnaya Ploshchad city park on May 28th but Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s administration turned down the request, citing a risk of public disorder.

Gay rights campaigner Nikolai Alekseev said authorities cited complaints from Cossacks, religious groups and individuals.

The city’s last mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, repeatedly banned the marches on pretexts of health and safety and has called gays and lesbians “satanic”. Mr Sobyanin said earlier this year that there is “no need” for the marches.

Last October, the European Court of Human Rights upheld three complaints over Moscow’s Pride ban and agreed that authorities had acted illegally.

Speaking to Interfax, Mr Alekseev said: “All responsibility for possible riots in the centre of Moscow on May 28th lies with the authorities and Mayor Sobyanin personally.

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

He said activists would hold the event anyway.