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13:01 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Sochi Court Denies Registration to Gay Group

Society
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A Sochi appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling denying registration to Pride House, a local gay movement, saying it constitutes a threat to Russia’s sovereignty, the Yugopolis news portal said on Wednesday.

A Sochi appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling denying registration to Pride House, a local gay movement, saying it constitutes a threat to Russia’s sovereignty, the Yugopolis news portal said on Wednesday.

The Sochi court said that Pride House's goals “undermine public morals and are at odds with national policy on the family, motherhood and children.”

The founders of Pride House were appealing an earlier ruling in a Krasnodar Territory regional court.

Pride House aimed to provide "an objective source of information on the LGBT movement in Russia and the world" for athletes and spectators during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Pride House, the Sochi court said, advocates a non-traditional sexual orientation that could spark social strife and lead to a decrease in the country’s already low birth rate, thereby “undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.”

On Monday, Russian Orthodox Church official Hieromonk Dimitri Pershin called for a nationwide law similar to one that was recently approved in St. Petersburg, which imposes fines for the promotion of homosexuality.

The law defines propaganda of homosexuality as "the targeted and uncontrolled dissemination of generally accessible information, which can damage the health, moral and spiritual development of the underaged."