Moscow Officials Approve Gay Pride Parade for First time

Moscow officials have for the first time approved a Gay Pride parade in the city's Bolotnaya Square, Interfax reports:

Alexeyev The organizers notified the Moscow government and the Moscow traffic police of their intention to hold a gay pride parade on April 12, he said.

The rally entitled "Moscow Gay Pride Parade: Homosexuality in the History of World Culture and Civilization" will take place on May 28, [Nikolai] Alexeyev said.

The Moscow authorities have suggested reducing number of the rally participants to 500, which was done, he said.

Said Alexeyev: "The Moscow government told the Moscow gay pride parade organizers on Tuesday that the Moscow authorities have authorized a gay pride parade in Moscow…The purpose of the rally will be to provide society with objective information on the history of the attitude towards homosexuality in culture and science, on the contribution made by prominent gay people to culture and art, and role of prominent culture figures and artists in the protection of the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals."

Officials have banned gay-related rallies since 2006, and a parade or march has never been authorized.