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Moscow mayor bans gay pride march: organiser

Moscow city hall has banned a gay pride march planned for later this month, citing security reasons, organiser Nikolai Alexeyev said.

world Updated: May 20, 2010 19:21 IST

Moscow city hall has banned a gay pride march planned for later this month, citing security reasons, organiser Nikolai Alexeyev said on Thursday.

"They called me and said they banned it. We don't yet have the paper," Alexeyev told AFP, saying that he would contest the decision in court.

The organisers of the Slavic Gay Pride event had requested to hold a march on May 29 down a street in central Moscow, but the city hall turned down the request without offering an alternative route, Alexeyev said.

"There was no alternative. They gave the same reason as last year, about security and the possibility of riots," Alexeyev said.

Last year, Alexeyev led a small number of protesters, including British activist Peter Tatchell, at an unsanctioned demonstration, which was roughly broken up by riot police.

The city hall has banned gay pride marches for five years running. Mayor Yury Luzhkov has openly expressed homophobic views, calling gay parades "Satanic" and saying that Russian society is not ready for such events.

During a talk show on gay rights aired on national television Monday, 84 percent of telephone voters said they would not want to see a gay parade in their home town.

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