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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ban on Gay Parade Is Upheld

The Moscow City Court on Monday upheld a ban on a gay rights parade in the city, but parade organizers vowed to appeal the decision.

"We have exhausted our options for reversing this illegal decision within the Moscow court system," gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev told Interfax, adding that the ruling "opens the way to the Supreme Court."

Alexeyev said the parade organizers would appeal to the Supreme Court as soon as possible, and that they hoped the court would reach a decision before May 27, when the parade was to take place.

The court's senior judge, Olga Yegorova, issued the ruling, which upheld a decision handed down by Tverskoi District Court in May.

The Mayor's Office initially turned down a permit request for the gay rights parade last year, prompting organizers to challenge the decision in court.

Alexeyev and another activist, Nikolai Bayev, separately filed a lawsuit against Mayor Yury Luzhkov in February for branding gay pride parades a "satanic act."

"The only aim of these comments was to smear us as organizers," Alexeyev said at the time.

Alexeyev and Bayev want Luzhkov to retract his remark and pay them a symbolic 1,000 rubles each in damages.