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St.Petersburg authorities block gay parade again

ST. PETERSBURG, May 17 (RIA Novosti) - Authorities in Russia's second city, St. Petersburg, have followed Moscow's example and refused permission for a gay pride parade for the second year running.

A spokesman for the city law and order committee said, "The holding of a gay parade was not permitted, because the announced place and time clash with City Day events."

But activists said earlier that they would proceed with the parade, planned to take place on Nevsky Prospekt, the city's main thoroughfare, May 26, despite the ban. Small-scale gay marches took place in May 2006 in both Moscow and St.Petersburg, in spite of authorities' refusal to sanction the events. Several activists were detained by police.

On Tuesday, Moscow authorities refused to allow a gay pride parade set for May 27, saying the event would interfere with the rights and interests of other citizens.

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