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Moscow's highest court upholds 100-year Pride ban

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Moscow's highest court upholds 100-year Pride ban

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — Gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev says he has no other option but to seek recourse from the European Court of Human Rights after Moscow's highest court upheld a decision to ban Pride in the Russian capital for 100 years.

The BBC reports that Alexeyev plans to take his case to the European court, located in Strasbourg, to push for recognition that Moscow's ban on gay pride marches "past, present and future, was unjust."

The Tverskoi district court had previously ruled that Moscow authorities' decision to prohibit gay public events from March 2012 to May 2112 was legal. 

But Alexeyev had told media he found a loophole in legislation that did not set limits on the timeframe for seeking approval for mass public events. Activists then bombarded Moscow city authorities with 102 applications to stage Pride parades over the next century. 

Alexeyev said there was no expectation that the parade applications would be approved. Rather, the idea was to generate a case that they could then appeal to a higher court in Russia, and if that failed, take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.  

"We wanted to see the reaction so we could show the European Court of Human Rights that it's not just past events which are banned illegally but also the future events," Alexeyev said in June. "It was a way for us to show the absurdity of the system for gaining permission for public events," he added.

Andre Banks, executive director of the advocacy group AllOut, says the most recent ruling emphasizes why Pride is just as meaningful now as it was after Stonewall, according to HuffPost. "Millions around the world are still fighting for the basic right to love openly and love who they choose."

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