Moscow mayor calls gay pride march 'Satanic'
Moscow's openly homophobic mayor Yuri Luzhkov said Monday that he would never allow a gay pride parade in the city, calling it "Satanic" and saying marchers should be punished.
"A gay parade... cannot be called anything but a Satanic act," Luzhkov told an education conference, quoted by Interfax news agency. "We haven't permitted such a parade and we won't permit it in the future."
Luzhkov has become well known for his opposition to the gay rights movement in Moscow – having previously branded the parades “satanic” in 2007.
Luzhkov compared "same-sex so-called love" to other "social plagues" like drug abuse and xenophobia, saying, "it is high time to crack down on them with all the power and justice of the law instead of talking about human rights."
"We need a social whip or something like that, not a liberal ginger cake," he added.
Gay rights campaigner Nikolai Alexeyev reaffirmed that plans for this year's gay pride parade will go ahead despite the ban.
"We don't plan to make any changes. We still plan to hold a gay parade on May 29," Alexeyev told AFP.