by Rex Wockner
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov plans to keep banning gay pride celebrations, as he’s done for the past three years.
His latest reason: Being proud of being gay can lead to increased HIV transmission.
“We have banned, and will ban, the propaganda of sexual minorities’ opinions because they can be one of the factors in the spread of HIV infection,” Luzhkov said Dec. 4 at a scientific conference on HIV/AIDS in developed countries.
Luzhkov previously has called gay pride parades “satanic” and city officials have said they would cause public disorder and security problems.
Luzhkov also told the conference that science has shown that using condoms is not a safe way to avoid catching HIV.
“Today’s statements of (the) Moscow mayor show which level of madness such politicians can take our society to,” said lead Moscow pride organizer Nikolai Alekseev. “The statements of Mr. Luzhkov are based on his own prejudice and stereotypes and in no way reflect recent scientific information. (T)he views of (the) Moscow mayor (are) nothing else than a call for…genocide against his own people.”
Despite the bans, Moscow gays have staged various pride events the past three years and will do so again on May 16, 2009, Alekseev said.
This past June, about 35 activists misled police into going to the wrong location and then pulled off three surprise actions – a rally at the Tchaikovsky statue at the Moscow Conservatory, a very brief pride march, and the unfurling of a big banner from an apartment balcony across from City Hall.