Moscow’s Mayor, Yury Luzhkov, has said that he will never allow gay pride parades in the city, labelling them as satanic.

An attempt to hold a parade in Moscow in 2006 was faced with official and religious opposition. Authorities imposed a ban saying that they feared inciting violence. The parade went head and participants were attacked by Neo-Nazi protestors.

Luzhkov made the remarks in a televised appearance, saying that, “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.”

He went onto to slate other countries’ more progressive stance on LGBT rights: “Some European nations bless single-sex marriages and introduce sexual guides in schools. Such things are a deadly moral poison for children.”

Meanwhile, the organisers of Moscow’s Pride have said that they will go ahead with a parade in May this year and are preparing for legal action to defend their right to hold the event. They have taken their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

In a statement, organiser Nikolai Alexeyev, said that “[By] trying to silence us, the Russian authorities denied us one of the fundamental human rights. The European justice will have the last say in this case. After that not a single official, including the Moscow Mayor, will be able to deprive us of our legal right to freedom of public expression.”

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