A judge in St Petersburg has ruled that bans on gay events put in place by officials under city’s ‘gay propaganda’ legislation were unlawful, it has been reported.

Coming Out St Petersburg said the Smolninsky district court had handed down a decision yesterday saying the authorities lacked the competence to determine whether the events would amount to propaganda before they took place.

It also denied the officials’ standing to cancel events, saying they only had authority to suggest alternative times and places for rallies.

The two planned events were for the Day of Silence on 7 March and the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on 17 May.

The group said the reasoning for the decision would be made public on 12 June.