Russian gays appealed on Friday to new President Dmitry Medvedev as defender of the constitution to overturn a ban on a planned gay pride parade in Moscow.
Last year, and the year before, gays defied a ban by Mayor Yury Luzhkov and went ahead with a parade which ended in clashes with young Russian right-wing nationalists.
Advertisement"We appeal to you as guarantor of the constitution, as a professional lawyer and adherent to the principles of rule of law: stop the abuses... committed by Mayor Luzhkov," read a letter to Medvedev.
"Let law and freedom triumph!" added the letter that was signed by representatives of Russia's Community of Gays, Lesbians and Transsexuals.
The Moscow mayor had, for three years, prevented members of the gay community from organising any public action in the capital, said the letter, distributed at a press conference.
The mayor routinely bans such gay demonstrations, having denounced them as "the work of Satan" and "weapons of mass destruction" by the West against Russia.
Past president Vladimir Putin, now prime minister, says gays and lesbians pose a problem for the country's demography, but also stresses that he respects individual freedom "in all its manifestations."
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