Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov said Monday he would never allow a gay parade to take place in Moscow despite pressure from the West, Russia’s RIA-Novosti news agency reports.
“Last year, Moscow came under unprecedented pressure to sanction the gay parade, which can be described in no other way than as Satanic,” Luzhkov said at the 15th Christmas educational readings in the Kremlin Palace.
“We did not let the parade take place then, and we are not going to allow it in the future,” said Luzhkov who has been in office since 1992.
The conservative 70-year-old mayor of the Russian capital also banned Portuguese bullfights in Moscow in 2001 for their violence and did not let the St. Petersburg-based rock group Leningrad perform in the city because of their explicit lyrics.
Luzhkov thanked the attending head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II, for his support at a time when, he said, the West is exerting considerable pressure on Moscow authorities and trying to promote gay relationships under the cover of creativity and freedom of expression.
“Religious thinkers throughout the world have said that the West has reached a crisis of faith. Some European nations bless single-sex marriages and introduce sexual guides in schools,” Luzhkov said. “Such things are a deadly moral poison for children.”
This is the second time Moscow authorities have banned a gay parade in Moscow. On May 26, 2006, a Moscow district court upheld a Moscow government resolution prohibiting a gay march, which was scheduled for the next day, as opposition to the planned event was strong in Russia, especially from the Russian Orthodox Church and other religious leaders.
Despite the ban, about 200 people took to the streets May 27 in an unsanctioned demonstration to mark the 13th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Russia.
The attempt resulted in violent clashes between sexual minorities and their opponents — representatives of a number of political parties, religious and radical movements — and the detention of some 120 people from both sides, most of whom were later released.