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European Court Fines Russia for Banning Gay Parades

Russian gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev (file photo)
Russian gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev (file photo)

The European Union's Court of Human Rights has fined Russia for banning homosexual parades in Moscow.

The Strasbourg-based court ruled Thursday that gay rights organizer Nikolai Alexeyev was discriminated against based on sexual orientation. It ordered Russia to pay more than $41,000 in damages and court costs to Alexeyev.

Alexeyev told the court he and other organizers were denied permission to hold gay pride marches in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The European rights court said the risk of a disturbance stemming from a demonstration was not sufficient to justify banning the parade.

Former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov once described gay parades as "satanic." He was fired last month by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.