May 182012
Moscow Gay Pride 2011

The LGBT community in the Russian capital will hold a gay pride rally despite City Hall’s refusal to authorize the event, gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev said on Friday.

Activists requested permission to hold a rally in defense of LGBT rights on May 27, marching from the downtown Turgenevskya metro station to Revolution Square outside Kremlin walls.

But the Moscow government refused them for the seventh year in a row.

“We’ll appeal in the Tverskoi court on Monday, we disagree with the refusal,” Alexeyev said.

“We’ll hold the rally in any case,” he said, without elaborating.

Activists have held unsanctioned gay pride rallies in Moscow in previous years, usually gathering in some previously undisclosed place and dispersing before police arrive.

Incumbent mayor Sergei Sobyanin and his predecessor Yury Luzhkov have both spoken against public rallies in defense of gay rights, with Luzhkov denouncing them as “Satanic.”

A sanctioned gay pride rally took place in St. Petersburg for the first time on Thursday. However, dozens of unidentified thugs attacked the activists after the event, beating them up.

City police only detained one attacker, who shot an LGBT activist in the face with a gas pistol, and said no serious damage or injury took place.