A senior figure in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government has openly backed the Moscow mayor’s recent decision to ban the gay parade in the capital city for the second year in a row.

Alexander Chuyev, deputy chairman of the State Duma committee for public associations and religious organisations, made his remarks on a television show, insisting that he could see nothing wrong in banning a parade which he regarded as “propaganda” and “dangerous”.

He spoke of his belief that clear boundaries are required between private and public rights:

“The individual’s rights end at the point where rights of the others begin.”

Mr Chuyev said homosexuality should be confined indoors and in private, and the parade would have sent out the wrong signal to the “many young people and children.”

In May 2006 the Mosocw’s mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, refused to issue a permit for the Pride march.

Gay activists pressed on with Moscow Pride on 27th May, despite the ban, police arrests, and violence from neo-fascists, right-wing nationalists and Orthodox Christian fundamentalists.

Over 120 people including a German MP were arrested during the chaotic scenes at Moscow Pride as gay campaigners from all over the world converged in the Russian capital.

They were met by religious and nationalist protesters chanting anti-gay slogans and 1,000 riot police aiming to stop demonstrations in Red Square.

Last month Pride organisers lost their appeal at Moscow City Court against the ruling of a lower court that upheld the city’s ban on the event.

“An application to the European Court of Human Rights is now ready and is currently being assessed by legal experts,” said Nikolay Alekseyev, one of the Pride organisers.

However, Mr Chuyev is undeterred by his stance, and poured scorn over the decision to take the case to the European Court in Strasbourg.

He believes that the legal action would not only help attract sponsors in Western Europe, it would also raise awareness of the parade.

However, he thinks little will be achieved in the long-run.

“There will be much harm for all including gays because in reality there is no persecution, no accent on sexual orientation at all.”

Pride organisers have urged gay and lesbian people from all over the world to join them in Moscow this May 27th as they stage their second march, which has not been granted a permit.