By Terry Vanderheyden

MOSCOW, February 17, 2006 ( – Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar has come out against a proposed “Gay Pride” parade in the capital, saying such an event “would be a blow for morality,” according to an InterFax report.

Rabbi Lazar said Thursday that any organization that forwards “sexual perversions” does not have a right to exist. He compared the offence that the proposed parade would have to observant Jews and all religious people in the country as akin to that felt by Muslims over the Prophet Mohammed caricatures depicted in European newspapers. “I would like to assure you, that the parade of homosexuals is not less offensive to the feelings of believers than any caricatures in newspapers,” he said.

Russian Mufti Talgat Tajuddin earlier this week called on Muslims to protest violently any attempt by homosexuals to proceed with the parade. “Muslims’ protests can be even worse than these notorious rallies abroad over the scandalous cartoons,” he warned.

Moscow city officials meanwhile have said that a permit for the event has been denied. “Moscow authorities will not allow the conduct of gay pride in any form,” said Sergei Tsoi Thursday. “The Mayor of Moscow said firmly that Moscow government will not allow the conduct of gay parade in any form – neither open, nor indirect, and all attempts to organize non sanctioned action will be severely suppressed.”


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