© RIA Novosti. Andrey Stenin
A senior priest has poured fire and brimstone on May 28’s mooted Gay Pride march and announced a rally in defence of the nation’s morals.
Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the synodal department for church and society in the Russian Orthodox Church, called on upstanding citizens to show moral backbone and condemn the wave of sexual pollution that he claims is threatening Russia.
Representatives of the Orthodox community will accordingly have their own rally in answer to the controversial sexual minorities’ rally.
Den of licentiousness
Top of the religious leaders’ concerns are drug addiction, alcoholism, brothels, crack houses and the promotion of homosexuality, they announced at a meeting of the Council of Orthodox Associations on Wednesday, gzt.ru reported.
They decreed that Russia is a home to everyone, “which all its inhabitants should live in,” and that despite “the extraordinary diversity of traditions, customs, beliefs, moral sentiment unites the majority of Russian citizens,” a statement said.
Corrupting the youth
Chaplin decried the disputed Gay Pride rally as a corrupting influence on children and adolescents as it would be happening in a public place when they would be present.
This is an attempt “to influence this category of the population,” which he believes is unacceptable, gzt.ru cited Ekho Moskvy as saying.
Moscow’s courageous stand
Moscow could potentially see its first legal gay pride march this month, after a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that bans on earlier actions were illegal.
But the church praised the city for its “courageous stance” and noted that the city “has never allowed homosexual propaganda activities.” They said that this preserves “the health of Muscovites from the choking smog of sexual licentiousness.”
City Hall has not yet given a formal go ahead to an application for a Gay Pride March lodged on April 12 but gay activists point out that this amounts to tacit permission, as the law now places the onus on the authorities to issue a ban within 10 days.
There has been no ban and that period has elapsed.