2007-03-19 17:46:00

Organizing committee for May Gay-Pride Parade in Moscow set up

Moscow, March 19, Interfax - A committee in charge of organizing a Gay-Pride Parade in Moscow on May 27, which will mark the 14th anniversary since the abolition of criminal prosecution for homosexuality in Russia, was established on Monday.

"Whereas there were only three of us last year, this year's organizing committee includes seven people, among them both representatives of the gay community and heterosexuals. It underscores the importance of our event for society as a whole and the development of democracy in Russia," Nikolay Alexeyev, an activist of Russia's movement for homosexuals' rights and the event's organizer, told Interfax.

A document notifying the Moscow mayor of plans to stage the second Gay-Pride Parade is to be submitted 10-15 days before the planned date, he said.

"If the Moscow authorities again ban the Gay-Pride Parade, we will appeal this decision in court. We will again go to the European Court of Human Rights," Alexeyev said.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov said earlier that he would not allow a Gay-Pride Parade in the Russian capital. In response to Luzhkov's statement, people responsible for arranging last year's abortive procession filed a defamation lawsuit against the Moscow head with the city's Tverskoy court.

They also lodged a complaint against the Russian authorities with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, demanding 20,000 euro in compensation.