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New Ban on Gay Rights Rally: Moscow

by Bidita Debnath on May 16, 2013 at 9:51 PM
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 New Ban on Gay Rights Rally: Moscow

Later this month, Moscow city authorities again turned down demands for a gay rights rally in the Russian capital.

They also warned organisers that police would clamp down on any unauthorised demonstration.

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One of the organisers, Nikolai Alexeyev, said early Wednesday that he would fight a ban in court.

"We have prepared answers to all requests submitted by organisers and we will not accept them," Interfax news agency quoted city hall official Alexei Mayorov as saying.
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Mayorov said the ban was motivated by principles of "morality ... and patriotism" that had to be taught to younger people.

A gay rights group had asked for authorisation of a May 25-26 demonstration and march in a Moscow park on Monday.

Human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group, denounced the ban,which has been enforced for years, as homophobic.

"In our country homophobia is state-sponsored," Interfax news agency quoted her as saying.

Clashes between gay rights activists who try to circumvent a ban and religious groups are recurrent in Russia where homosexuality was a crime until 1993 and a mental condition until 1999, almost a decade after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Saint Petersburg, Russia's former imperial capital, last year adopted legislation that punishes publicly "promoting" homosexuality and paedophilia, a link rejected by rights activists.

Source: AFP
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