Officials in Moscow have forbidden activists to hold a gay rights parade there, saying that it would conflict with a government-mandated campaign to promote patriotism in young people, the New York Times reports. The city noted that the Kremlin had been backing legislation banning "homosexual propaganda" in cities around the country. Gay rights advocates say that push is encouraging bigotry and violence—such as the recent savage murder of a 23-year-old man who said he was gay.
"According to Russian legislation, we must work clearly and consistently on maintaining morality, oriented toward the teaching of patriotism in the growing generation, and not toward incomprehensible aspirations," a city official said. "In our opinion there is no demand for these kinds of events in the city." It all adds up to a culture of state-sanctioned fear, a former journalist who lost his job after coming out writes in the Guardian. "I am not a human being in the same sense that they are; I am to be classed as scum, like a terrorist." (Read more Moscow stories.)