February 18, 2006
Religious tolerance update
Compassion, Russian style:
Plans to stage Russia’s first gay pride parade have been vetoed by Moscow’s city government on the grounds that the idea has caused “outrage” in society.
Mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s administration said yesterday it would not even consider an application for a parade, prompting Russia’s gay community to threaten legal action in the European Court of Human Rights.
Gay and lesbian activists have been campaigning for permission to stage the country’s first gay pride event on Saturday 27 May.
The date marks the 13th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Russia in 1993. But the plans have drawn a furious reaction from religious leaders and been condemned as “suicidal” by other gay activists.
Earlier this week Chief Mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin warned that Russia’s Muslims would stage violent protests if the march went ahead. “If they come out on to the streets anyway they should be flogged. Any normal person would do that - Muslims and Orthodox Christians alike ... [The protests] might be even more intense than protests abroad against those controversial cartoons.”
The cleric said the Koran taught that homosexuals should be killed because their lifestyle spells the extinction of the human race and said that gays had no human rights.
Chief Mufti would feel right at home in America’s theocracy. Although given that he previously declared a holy war against the U.S., perhaps not.
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