2008-04-30 13:40:00

Gay pride parades cancelled in Moscow

Moscow, April 30, Interfax - The Moscow authorities have officially declined to allow sexual minorities to hold rallies and marches (called Blue Express) in Moscow in early May, a source in the directorate in charge of ensuring security in the city told Interfax on Wednesday.

"These marches have drawn a negative response from society and will result in a major violation of public order, which poses a threat to the organizers and participants in the gay pride parade," Interfax was told.

The source said notices have been filed with the Moscow mayor's office, stating five rallies and marches will be conducted in Moscow daily from May 1 to 11. The notices state each of the events will have 5,100 participants.

"The organizers of the gay pride parades are hoping to hold public events involving up to 280,000 people," the source told Interfax.

According to earlier reports, members of the sexual minorities initially said the rallies would be held in Moscow on May 1-8 and would have 153,000 participants.

"It looks like someone is trying to attach some more cars to the Blue Express," said the source.

Sources close to the parade organizers told Interfax they intend to file a complaint about the Moscow authorities with the international court in The Hague.