2007-02-26 11:34:00

Gay pride organizers sue Luzhkov for calling parade 'satanic'

Moscow, February 26, Interfax - The Moscow gay pride parade organizers have filed a lawsuit against Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov in Tverskoy District Court.

Parade co-organizer Nikolay Alexeyev told Interfax that the mayor had described gay pride parades as 'satanic rites.'

"The Moscow mayor insulted me not only as a co-organizer of the gay pride parade he illegally banned, but also as a citizen and a believer. The term 'satanic' is insulting and negative both in the secular and religious meaning," he said.

An official of the Luzhkov level "must not offend people with such words," Alexeyev said.

Luzhkov said at the recent opening of Christmas Readings in Moscow that the Moscow authorities "experienced unprecedented pressure from the organizers of a gay pride parade that cannot be described other than a satanic rite" and promised to prevent similar parades in the future.

The plaintiffs want the Moscow mayor to refute "the untrue and insulting statement" and pay each of them 1,000 rubles in moral compensation.

The parade organizers also filed a lawsuit vs. Russia at the European Court of Human Rights and demanded 20,000 euros compensation.