The ongoing drama surrounding Moscow’s Slavic Pride Parade continues, as the city has once again turned down an application to hold the march. This will mean that the festival, which was set to take place on May 16, has been banned for three consecutive years.

According to Russian news agency Ria Novosti, mayor Yury Luzhkov’s press secretary Sergei Tsoi said: “Representatives of the gay movement are threatening to hold their action on May 16th regardless of whether they have permission for it or not, without any consideration for the opinions of the public majority.

“The Moscow government is declaring that there has never been and never will be a gay parade in Moscow.”

He said that gay events were “not only destroying the moral foundations of our society but deliberately provoking disorder threatening the lives and security of Muscovites and guests to the capital.”

“First of all, such an action threatens the security of those willing to take part in it. All this is absolutely unacceptable,” Tsoi said.

“This is not only the position of the Moscow government. Representatives of all religious groups, and above all the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as leaders from youth and veteran organisations and multi-cultural societies have issued a strong warning against it,” he added.

Parade organiser and prominent gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseyev said on the website that the event would still go ahead, even without permission. “This is our right and it is guaranteed by the constitution. No official, including the Moscow mayor, has the right to violate it,” Alekseyev said.

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