Speaking to Russian Orthodox church leaders, conservative Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov vowed that a gay pride march, which last May inspired violent riots from Russian nationalists and ultra-orthodox Christians, would never take place there.
Last May, as marchers tried to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, rioters hurled bricks, eggs, and tomatoes at the activists, chanting “Death to fags” and “Fags out of Russia.” Gay German MP Volker Beck was among those injured in the melee.
Said Mayor Luzhkov on Monday: “Last year, Moscow came under unprecedented pressure to sanction the gay parade, which can be described in no other way than as Satanic. We did not let the parade take place then, and we are not going to allow it in the future…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. Such things are a deadly moral poison for children.”
Nikolai Alekseev, a co-organiser of Moscow Pride, condemned Luzhkov’s comments:
“We are shocked by the statements of Mr. Luzhkov that ‘gay pride is a Satanist happening’ and consider them as personal insult against the organisers and potential participants of the gay pride. Such words in respect to huge number of homosexual people who live in Russia are not worthy of an official of such high standing…To read such comparisons in the historical books covering Middle Ages is not surprising. But to hear such comparisons in the 21st century, and in particular from the Mayor of one of the largest cities in Europe, is just outrageous.”
He also called the mayor out on his reasoning behind forbidding last year’s event:
“This is just more proof for the European Court that the real reasons for the denial of the pride last year were not in the sphere of Mayor’s concern for participant’s security but his Middle Aged hatred towards homosexuality.”
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