Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin reiterated on Thursday his opposition to the holding of gay pride events in the Russian capital.
“My opinion has not changed,” Sobyanin told the Moscow-based Ekho-Moskvy radio station. He said most Muscovites would be against the staging of a gay pride parade, and that their opinion had to be “respected.”
Sobyanin’s predecessor in the post, Yury Luzhkov, once famously described gay pride events as “Satanic.”
The mayor’s comments came a day after St. Petersburg’s city legislature postponed debate on a bill imposing fines for the promotion of homosexuality after lawmakers failed to agree on its “legal definitions.”
The bill, passed nearly unanimously in the first of the three readings needed to write it into law last Wednesday, effectively outlaws any gay pride events.
If adopted, it would allow authorities to impose fines of up to 50,000 rubles ($1,600) for “public activities promoting sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgender identity”.
Amnesty International condemned the bill as a “thinly veiled attempt” to fuel discrimination against St. Petersburg’s gay community.