Russian gay rights activists have said that they are going to go through with their plans to hold a Gay Pride march in Moscow hours before the Eurovision song contest final on 16 May.
Prominent gay rights advocate Nikolai Alexeyev said in a press conference on Tuesday that over 500 people are expected to attend the parade if their application to hold the event is accepted, and over 100 people are expected to march if it is not.
Activists believe that, with the world spotlight on Moscow during the Eurovision festival, it is an ideal time to highlight discrimination against the LGBT community. “On the day of Eurovision, we want this issue to be clearly raised at the international level,” Alexeyev said.
Mayor Yury Luzhkov has banned the march from taking place since 2006, and has called gay parades “satanic”. The Russian Orthodox Church and far-right groups have also said they will prevent any attempt to hold a march in Moscow in support of gay rights.