2006-03-16 10:41:00

Patriarch backs decision to ban Moscow gay parade

Moscow, March 16, (Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia has backed Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's decision to ban a gay parade in the city.

The patriarch thanked the mayor in an open letter for his "decision to prevent public propaganda for immorality."

The Church "has invariably supported the institution of the family and condemns untraditional relations, seeing them as a vicious deviation from God-given human nature," Alexy II writes.

Such an event would be unacceptable, given the current demographic crisis in Russia, the patriarch writes.

"I am convinced that gays' desire to organize a parade in Moscow will not help strengthen the family as the foundation of a strong state," he said.

See the full text of letter under the Documents heading.