“Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov routinely breaches Russia’s constitution and laws, and the European Convention, by depriving gay people of their right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
“The real reason behind the ban of the first ever Moscow Gay Pride, held in May 2006, is not because the Mayor is concerned for the security of the participants, as he claims. The ban is motivated by his deep-rooted hatred toward homosexual people.
“Recently the Moscow Mayor said that ‘gay parades are nothing else but satanic’ and promised to ban this year’s Moscow Gay Pride march, scheduled for May, 27.
“The legal case against the ban of the first gay pride in the Russian capital is now pending before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Due to the length of the procedures, the decision will not be handed down before the Moscow Gay Pride march this year.
“Mr. Luzhkov frequently uses insulting statements against homosexual people in his speeches. He uses every possible vile argument to discredit the LGBT movement and incite hatred towards LGBT people.
“In May last year, the homophobic hysteria of the Moscow Mayor led to massive violations of the rights of homosexual people in Russia. He gave a carte blanche to fascists, ultra-nationalists and religious extremists to attack gay people without fear of being punished.
Whatever the stance of the Moscow Mayor, we are going ahead with plans for a second Moscow Gay Pride on 27 May,” concluded Mr Alekseev.