2008-04-03 11:47:00

Russian religious figures urges CoE not to back Moscow gay rally

Moscow, April 3, Interfax - The Russian Interreligious Council has asked Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg to stop supporting the organizers of the Moscow Gay Parade slated for May 31.

"We ask you not to support the planned action by sexual minorities, which could become a spiritual and ideological watershed between Russia and the Council of Europe," an open letter issued by the Interreligious Council on Wednesday reads.

The letter also notes that the majority of Russians do not think that homosexuality is an acceptable norm of social interaction between people.

Authors of the address also note that Russia unlike other European states doesn’t bear responsibility for physical extirpation of homosexuals.

“Our religious communities have tolerated people who commit this sin and offer them help and support to fight this ailment. However, this sinful passion is destructive for any person and was never encouraged. So we consistently oppose promotion of sinful distortions of human nature considered as such for more than a thousand year,” the letter reads.

The Inter-religious Council also urge Hammarberg not to make Russia consider the Council of Europe as organization ready to support actions “contradicting religious convictions of Russian believers and violently defying their conscience”.