A Russian court has upheld the Moscow mayor’s gay pride ban.

Despite appeals from the organisers, The Moscow Gay Pride, scheduled for this weekend, was officially opposed by the Tverskoy Court today.

The Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, has banned the gay parade and is threatening to also outlaw the parallel gay rights conference and festival.

Mr Luzhkov says he will not allow a gay pride parade “in any form” and that any attempt to march in the streets will be “resolutely quashed.”

He claims the ban will protect gays and lesbians from potential violent protests

A statement from the Mayor’s office said last week, “This march could provoke a wave of protests which could lead to mass breaches of public order and disturbances, therefore the application for the march has not been successful.”

Despite the Moscow mayor’s threat of mass arrests, and the threat of violence from nationalist and religious leaders, Peter Tatchell and other international human rights activists will join the historic first gay pride march in Russian history. It will take place tomorrow, which is the thirteenth anniversary of the 1993 abolition of Soviet-era laws against male homosexuality.

Over 250 representatives from more than 30 countries are expected to attend.

Around 1000 police are expected to take to the streets on the weekend.