By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

October 22, 2010 ( – The European Court of Human Rights this week ruled that the city of Moscow must allow homosexuals to hold “gay parades,” and ordered Russia to pay a fine of $41,300 for previous refusals to do so, according to international press reports.

Since 2006, the Moscow city government has refused to issue a permit for such parades on the grounds that sodomy spreads diseases, is unnatural, and offends the morals of Russians. He has received the vocal support of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish religious leaders.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has consistently defended the government’s position over the years despite massive opposition from unsympathetic European politicians and international homosexual groups, even going so far as to call gay parades “satanic.”

The court ruled that Moscow had violated Article 11 of the European Convention of Human rights, which protects the right of “peaceful assembly,” and that its acts were discriminatory.

The European Convention of Human Rights was last amended in 1966 and does not mention homosexual rights. Russia, as a signatory, is bound by the court’s decision.

The court’s decision was announced on the same day that Moscow’s city council elected a new mayor, Sergei Sobyanin. Luzhkov, who had ruled Moscow for over 20 years, was removed late last month by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in an apparent dispute with his chief political rival, former President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

Moscow Mayor Calls “Gay Pride” Parade “Satanic”

Moscow Refuses Permit to “Gay Pride” Parade Organizers

Moscow Mayor Unapologetic in Prohibition of “Gay Pride” Marches