Mayor Yuri Luzhkov (Pic: Andrey Surikov)

Moscow’s proudly homophobic Mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, has banned the city’s gay Pride march, planned to take place in the Russian Capital as part of Moscow Pride on May 29, for the fifth consecutive year.

The ban was not unexpected. In January, Luzhkov stated his intention to continue to stop the event from taking place.

“[The parade] cannot be called anything but a satanic act. We have prevented such a parade and we will not allow it in the future. Everyone needs to accept this as an axiom,” he said.

“As soon as we receive the authorities’ refusal in writing, we will appeal it in the Tver District Court,” chief organiser Nikolai Alekseev said in response to the news.

In accordance with Russian law, the application for the parade was made to the Mayor’s office on May 17, outlining the proposed route. Alekseev noted that City Hall had not offered any alternate route for the march, which is contrary to the requirements of current legislation.

“We are ready to take all bans to the European Court of Human Rights, which this year is due to rule on the complaints lodged over the bans on the first three Moscow Gay Prides – in 2006, 2007, 2008,” Alekseev said.

In previous years, organisers’ protests have been met with violence and arrests by the authorities.

It’s also been claimed that the city is behind the shutting down of Russian gay news Web site GayRussia this week.

Alekseev told UK Gay News that website hosting company, Caravan, had come under pressure from the Moscow authorities to shut down the site.

He said that GayRussia intended to sue the company.

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