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Moscow: Mayor’s office refuses gay pride application

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — The Moscow mayor's office has refused an application to stage gay pride later this month, citing a "negative attitude" toward it as the reason for the rejection, Pink News reports.

Security official Alexei Mayorov said Moscow Pride organizers were notified that the event was not given the go-ahead. “If the organizers still try to hold the event, a certain reaction will follow and the action will be thwarted," he warned.

Moscow Pride organizers have studiously defied repeated application rejections over the years and have staged guerilla-style protests on the city's streets.  

Last year, gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev told media he found a loophole in legislation that did not set limits on the timeframe for seeking approval for mass public events. Activists then bombarded Moscow city authorities with 102 applications to stage Pride parades over the next century. Those applications were turned down.

Alexeyev said there was no expectation that the applications would be approved. Rather, the idea was to generate a case that they could then appeal to a higher court in Russia and, if that failed, take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights. "We wanted to see the reaction so we could show the European Court of Human Rights that it's not just past events which are banned illegally but also the future events," Alexeyev told Gay Star News. "It was a way for us to show the absurdity of the system for gaining permission for public events." 

The Tverskoy district court had previously ruled that Moscow authorities' decision to prohibit gay public events from March 2012 to May 2112 was legal. 

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