Moscow Rejects Bid to Hold Gay Rights Parade

Published: May 15, 2013

MOSCOW — Moscow officials rejected on Wednesday an application by gay rights advocates to hold a parade this month, saying the event could undermine a campaign to instill patriotic values in the city’s youths.

The refusal emphasized the Russian government’s support for a wave of legislation in cities across the country banning “homosexual propaganda.”

The Moscow decision was issued just days after a man was killed in a savage attack that investigators said was motivated by homophobia in the city of Volgograd in southern Russia.

“According to Russian legislation, we must work clearly and consistently on maintaining morality, oriented toward the teaching of patriotism in the growing generation, and not toward incomprehensible aspirations,” said Aleksei Mayorov, the director of regional safety for the city administration, in a statement carried by the Interfax news agency.

“In our opinion,” Mr. Mayorov continued, “there is no demand for these kinds of events in the city.”

Critics of a proposed federal ban on “homosexual propaganda,” an umbrella term for rallies and other public demonstrations by gay rights advocates, say the local laws are already encouraging hate crimes against gay men.

The murder in Volgograd last week of a 23-year-old man, who investigators said had been sodomized with beer bottles and beaten to death with a concrete block, was reported on the national television news and evoked an outcry from Russia’s gay community.

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