MOSCOW, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow's Tverskoi Court has turned down a claim against Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov by organizers of a gay parade, a spokesman for the court said Friday.
"The court did not find any grounds to meet the claim," the spokesman said.
Last year, Moscow authorities denied an application by organizers to hold a gay parade, but the claim was motioned following a negative statement made by Luzhkov.
Earlier this year the conservative 70-year-old mayor, who has been in office since 1992, said he would never allow a gay parade to take place in Moscow despite pressure from the West.
Luzhkov said, "Last year, Moscow came under unprecedented pressure to sanction the gay parade, which can be described in no other way than as Satanic. We did not let the parade take place then, and we are not going to allow it in the future."
Nikolai Alekseyev, the organizer of the gay parade and the initiator of the claim against the mayor, said he disagreed with court's decision and would appeal to the Moscow City Court or even higher.
Claimants demanded that Luzhkov should apologize for slandering them and pay each participant in the parade 1,000 rubles (about $39).
Despite the ban, about 200 people took to the streets May 27, 2006 in an unsanctioned demonstration to mark the 13th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Russia.
The attempt resulted in violent clashes between sexual minorities and their opponents - representatives of a number of political parties, religious and radical movements - and the detention of some 120 people from both sides, most of whom were later released.
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