Two senior political figures have joined supporters of the Moscow Gay Pride ban.

Jerusalem’s acting mayor, Yigal Amedi and Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia, have backed Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov’s decision to ban the event.

Yigal Amedi told Interfax, “Moscow is a nice city; there are different people in it, so why something like this should be arranged here? Let them get together somewhere in the country and hold it out there.”

He highlighted similar protests in Jerusalem last year when the gay pride parade was postponed after disapproval from local religious leaders.

Meanwhile Russia’s patriarch has written an open letter praising the mayor’s “decision to prevent public propaganda for immorality.”

He said: “I am convinced that gays’ desire to organise a parade in Moscow will not help strengthen the family as the foundation of a strong state.”