2007-01-30 10:12:00

Russian Church backs ban on gay pride parade in Moscow

Moscow, January 30, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church supports the Moscow authorities' decision to ban a gay pride parade in the Russian capital.

"I believe that in the 21st century people will realize the malignancy of perversions opposing the family in its natural form as bestowed by God," Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, told Interfax.

Opening the 15th Christmas educational readings on Monday, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov compared demonstrations staged by homosexuals with what he described as "Satan's play", pledging not to permit such actions in the Russian capital.

Meanwhile, Nikolay Alexeyev, who was responsible for arranging last year's banned gay pride parade in Moscow, said he would sue Luzhkov for "insulting him and the peaceful and democratic objectives pursued by the gay pride parade."

"It will not be a surprise to find" the Moscow mayor's words "in historical books written in the Medieval period. But it is simply outrageous to hear such comparisons in the 21st century, especially when they are made by the mayor of one of the largest cities in Europe," Alexeyev said.

Father Vsevolod described Luzhkov as "a responsible politician, who heeds the opinion of his people."

The Moscow Patriarchate official said he is convinced that "if one tries to determine the people's will, it will really be aimed against holding such actions in Moscow."

"Our country should eventually stop heeding external opinions and state openly that we will adopt only laws and take decisions that meet the will of our people. I am convinced that, as far as this issue is concerned, the people's will is unambiguous," Father Vsevolod said.