2006-05-31 10:11:00

Attempt to hold gay parade in Moscow a provocation - Luzhkov

Moscow, May 31, Interfax - Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has described attempts by participants in a failed gay parade last Saturday to lay flowers to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as a provocation and the desecration of a holy place.

"Those gays decided to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This was a provocation. This is a desecration of a holy place. This is not a church, but a state and national altar. And now gays are going there - I don't know what they looked like, but that is not even important - and they were showing off when they appeared near the memorial. This is desecration. They broke through, and of course they got thrashed," Luzhkov said live on TV Center television.

The Moscow government banned the gay parade after being guided by public opinion, Luzhkov said. "We should first of all listen not to ourselves, but to the Muscovites, the people. Our religious denominations - both Orthodoxy and Islam - stood up resolutely against the holding of a gay parade," Luzhkov said.

"Gays are also our citizens," but their sexual orientation should not be displayed publicly, Luzhkov insisted.

"The gays would have been badly beaten up," he said referring to aggressive opponents of gays and lesbians.

Luzhkov also urged the West to learn moral principles from Russia. "Our morality is purer, and the West should learn something from us regarding morality rather than move toward wild licentiousness," he said.