Organisers of Moscow Gay Pride have lodged an appeal with the Tverskoi district court of Moscow this morning over the banning of a number of planned gay pride marches.

Gay rights campaigners are asking the court to rule the actions of Moscow City government unlawful.

Earlier this month pride organisers officially notified Moscow Mayor of their intention to conduct human rights marches of sexual minorities on different routes in downtown Moscow on May 1st and 2nd.

Last Friday, first deputy head of Moscow government security unit Vasily Oleynik, acting on behalf of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, banned all the events on security reasons.

There has been an increasing amount of global publicity concerning the persecution of Moscow’s LGBT community and the prejudice that the community are receiving from their homophobic Mayor.

A spokesmen from his office said:

“It is a matter of surprise and indignation that gays plan to carry out unsanctioned gatherings in various parts of Moscow during the Festival of Peace and Work”

An unsanctioned parade on May 27 last year, the anniversary of the abolition of a Soviet law that criminalized homosexuality, ended with ultra-nationalists throwing eggs and punching and kicking gay activists

Last year a number of gay protesters including Peter Tatchell and Right Said Fred singer Richard Fairbrass, were physically attacked by a homophobic mob.

The British Film Institute recently screened a film about Moscow’s LGBT community and their gay pride event.

The documentary film East-West: Sex Politics by director Jochen Hick was screened as part of the Gay and Lesbian film festival.

It premiered in the Berlin International Film Festival in February and follows some LGBT people in Moscow around the Moscow Pride events.

East/West: Sex Politics is described as an “in-depth account of the attempts to mount a Gay Pride parade in Moscow in 2006 and 2007.

“This film offers a chilling reminder of the fragile state of the rights of sexual minorities in Russia,” pride organiser Nikolai Alekseev told PinkNews.co.uk