February 17, 2006
Plans for Moscow gay pride parade hit roadblock http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid25771.asp
Plans for a first-ever gay pride parade in Moscow hit a major roadblock Thursday when the city administration announced that it would not consider an application to allow the parade, London's The Independent reports. A spokesperson for Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said the proposed event, which would be the first of its kind in the country, had "caused outrage in society, particularly among religious leaders."
As local gay and lesbian activists have worked to gain permission to stage the parade, scheduled for May 27, the 13th anniversary of Russia's decriminalization of homosexuality, various church leaders have publicly decried the idea. The bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church called the event a "cynical mockery" and compared homosexuality with leprosy, while a Muslim cleric threatened violent protests should the parade happen.
"If they come out on the streets anyway, they should be flogged," chief mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin said. "Any normal person would do that—Muslims and Orthodox Christians alike." He added that the protests "might be even more intense than protests abroad against those controversial cartoons."
Parade organizers said plans will still go forward and that a formal application to stage the event will be made in May. They were also considering taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights. (Advocate.com)