BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – For the seventh year in a row, Moscow Pride organizers applied for a permit to stage the event.
And for a seventh time, city authorities turned them down, ignoring a 2010 European Court of Human Rights ruling that the repeated bans are discriminatory, illegal and a contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Russia is signatory.
Even before the application was submitted, gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev told Xtra he had no reason to believe that the city, under new mayor Sergei Sobyanin, would break with precedent and give Pride the green light.
Previous refusals have not stopped Moscow's activists from proceeding with some form of march or protest, and Alexeyev told media that a rally will be held in spite of the ban. He also told Gay Star News that he plans to appeal the city's decision in court May 21.
According to Gay Star News, a security official said the proposed march would provoke a negative public reaction and cause "moral harm to children and teenagers."
The latest Pride ban follows the increasing and incremental institution of so-called gay propaganda laws in several Russian cities that prohibit the spread of homosexuality among minors, with calls from Orthodox Church officials and certain politicians for the national implementation of such legislation.
A sanctioned International Day Against Homophobia rally in St Petersburg, one of four cities to have passed anti-gay legislation, was marked by violence when dozens of neo-Nazis attacked and injured participants.