2012-05-21 10:21:00

Gay pride parade in Kiev canceled

Kiev, May 21, Interfax - The gay pride parade which was due to take place in Kiev on Sunday has been canceled over fears for the safety of its participants, according to the organizing committee of the international KievPride 2012 forum and festival.

"Following the recommendation by Amnesty International which monitors safety issues during the public demonstration planned as part of the KievPride from May 19-21, it was decided not hold the parade at the earlier selected venue," chairman of the KievPride 2012 organizing committee Taras Karasiychuk told reporters.

The organizers decided to cancel the parade because "a large number of nationalist and religious organizations" came to the venue, he said.

The organizers kept the venue in secret, Karasiychuk. The press assembled near the Darnitsa subway station.

During the press briefing someone with a mask on his face pushed the organizers, shouting, "Out of Ukraine" and then sprayed something from a spray bottle into the eyes of an organizing committee representative.

"The Ukrainian nationalists and public have managed to prevent the so-called gay pride parade," the All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda," which announced earlier it would thwart the gay pride parade, said in a statement.

"On May 20, 2012, a group of sexual perverts in Kiev announced the so-called gay pride parade. The aim of this event was to undermine the traditional moral values through a show of aggression towards the majority of the Ukrainian population who do not share the perverts' way of life and it being imposed on others... Nationalists and the public continue maintaining public order in central Kiev to be able to stop the perverts' illegal actions at any moment," the statement said.

It was reported earlier that protests against the May 20 gay pride parade in the Ukrainian capital were held outside the presidential administration building Kiev on April 27 and at the Mykhaylovskaya Square on May 10. The protests passed off without any incident. On May 10 protestors represented two public organizations, the Parents' Committee and Youth for Healthy Life, and held up placards, "No to Sodomite Sin!" and "Homosexuality = AIDS."