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Court: St. Petersburg Must Allow Pride

Court: St. Petersburg Must Allow Pride


A Russian court has ordered that a gay pride parade must be allowed in St. Petersburg, after city officials banned a march in June.

After ruling that the city's decision to disallow a pride march planned for June was illegal, a judge Monday imposed a November 1 deadline for St. Petersburg authorities to permit event organizers to plan a new march. The St. Petersburg city government has indicated its intention to comply with the court's mandate.

"If the City Hall respects the decision, it will be an amazing victory," Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev wrote in UK Gay News.

Efforts to plan gay-related events in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia's two largest cities, are regularly foiled by authorities. But a second hearing in a pending case on the legality of the ban of this year's Moscow Pride, coupled with the recent firing of notoriously homophobic Moscow mayor Yuri Luhzkov, suggests that similar changes might be in store for Russia's capital.

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