2007-07-09 10:24:00

Gay parades do no help protect sexual minorities' rights - Matviyenko

St. Petersburg, July 9, Interfax - Gay pride parades do not help protect the rights of sexual minorities, St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko said.

"When it comes to the protection of people's rights and freedoms, including those of sexual minorities, this should be within a legal framework. Demonstrating such delicate and intimate things and staging provocative actions seems wrong to me," Matviyenko said in reply to a question from Interfax.

The St. Petersburg gay community's plans to hold a procession on September 8, the date marking the start of the Siege of Leningrad in 1941, outraged members of various religious denominations in the city, she said.

"You get the impression that this is being done on purpose to provoke a conflict between various groups. Of course, everyone has the right to protect their interests, but there is no need to make a protest and a scandal out of it," she said.

Matviyenko said she would not like clashes similar to those that happened in Moscow to occur in St. Petersburg.