Moscow authorities say they banned a gay Pride event from taking place in the city because it would “damage the psychological health” of children.

The Moscow Times reported on Friday that organisers had been told that, in addition to being a security threat, the rally would violate Russia’s international obligations to protect the rights of children as it “may impact psychological health and inflict moral damage on children and teenagers who were to become unwilling witnesses of the event”.

The city also believes that the event will disrupt traffic, but yet gave the go-ahead for a 3,000 strong march calling for an end to “sexual perversion” and for prison terms for gays – to be held on May 28; the same day the planned Pride rally was set to take place.

Despite the ban, the organisers are determined to go ahead with their event. They have appealed for President Dmitri Medvedev to intervene and will file a court appeal against the city but have little hope that these efforts will succeed.

They have also called on European diplomats to express their support for Moscow Pride, which has been repeatedly barred from taking place since 2006.

In October last year, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russia had violated the right to freedom of assembly of LGBT people by banning Pride events in previous years.

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