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Moscow Approves Pride Rally

Moscow Approves Pride Rally

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For the first time in Moscow, a large-scale gay pride rally was authorized in the city's Bolotnaya Square, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Russian gay activist Nikolay Alexeyev said the rally, known as the Moscow Gay Pride Parade: Homosexuality in the History of World Culture and Civilization, will take place May 28. The event was originally to take place April 12.

Under former mayor Yuri Luzkhov, gay pride parades were banned in the city, but Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who took office last fall after Luzkhov was fired by Russian president Dmitri A. Medvedev, has authorized the rally. Moscow authorities, however, have asked to reduce the number of participants to 500.

"The purpose of the rally will be to provide society with objective information on the history of the attitude towards homosexuality in culture and science, on the contribution made by prominent gay people to culture and art, and role of prominent culture figures and artists in the protection of the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals," Alexeyev said.

Pride parades have been typically banned in Moscow, and attempts to hold such rallies have been thwarted by police, through some were held in defiance of the government. A rally was held in October, shortly after Luzkhov was fired, but required heavy police protection.

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