Mayor Sergei Sobyanin
Moscow’s new mayor has dashed hopes that he would usher in a new era for the city’s LGBT citizens after he said in an interview that he opposes Pride events.
The city’s previous mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, who was fired in September last year, was notoriously anti-gay and repeatedly banned activists from holding gay Pride marches in the Russian capital.
It was hoped that his successor, Sergei Sobyanin, would be more open to granting LGBT people the right to free assembly and freedom of expression.
But, speaking on radio on Wednesday, Sobyanin revealed that he too was opposed to gay Pride events in Moscow, at least in his personal capacity.
“I have my own opinion on this. Moscow absolutely does not need this and I am not in favour of it,” Sobyanin said.
In October last year, the European Court of Human Rights slammed Moscow authorities for denying activists the right to hold Pride marches.
The court ruled that the city had unlawfully discriminated against the organisers of gay Pride events on the basis of sexual orientation.
It remains unclear if Moscow will ignore the ruling and ban the next Pride scheduled to take place in May.