2007-03-20 16:02:00

Russian Orthodox Church says gay parades should not be allowed

Moscow, March 20, Interfax - The authorities must take public opinion into account before authorizing a gay parade in Moscow, the Russian Orthodox Church believes.

"The authorities should be acting depending on public opinion which I find quite clear - open propaganda of a gay way of life is rejected by our public, arousing protests and antagonism," deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations Vsevolod Chaplin told the Moscow press on Tuesday.

He said that the demonstration of the way of life of sexual minorities on TV, in the streets or through public actions does not enjoy support among the Russian people and "the authorities must listen more to the opinion of the people than to the opinion of some foreign centers or a loud-mouthed group of advocates of homosexuality."

Meanwhile, the Union of Christian Orthodox Citizens has promised to stage massive protests, if a gay procession is organized in Moscow.

"The persistence with which Russia is being pressured to hold the gay parade in Moscow is making not only Orthodox Christians but all sober-minded people stand up to protect traditional values," press secretary of the union Kirill Frolov told Moscow journalists on Tuesday.

On Monday the organizing committee of the gay parade was set up in Moscow. It is expected to be held on May 27 - the 14th anniversary of the cancellation of criminal prosecution for homosexuality.

Earlier Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov said the would not allow gay parades in the city.