Ukraine court bans gay pride march in Kiev

Gay rights activists stage an event in Kiev to protest against homophobia, 18 May 2013
Image caption Gay rights activists staged an event in Kiev last Saturday to protest against homophobia

A court in Ukraine has banned what would have been the country's first gay pride march, following a petition brought by authorities in Kiev.

City authorities had argued it would clash with the annual Kiev Day festivities and could lead to violence.

Gay rights activists had planned the inaugural Equality March for Saturday, but opponents planned a counter-rally.

Amnesty International recently said there was widespread discrimination against gay people in Ukraine.


City authorities in Ukraine cannot ban gatherings but can ask a court to do so.

The Kiev district administrative court said no events could be staged that clashed with City Day celebrations.

The city authorities cited 500 complaints from the public as motivation for the petition.

Gay rights activists told Agence France-Presse news agency they did not want to break the law and would discuss whether an event could be held elsewhere.

A large rally to defend "family values" and oppose the "promotion of homosexuality" had been planned for Kiev on Saturday.

A gay rights event planned for last year was called off at the last minute after a gathering of skinheads threatened participants.

A recent Amnesty report said that Ukraine's gay community suffered widespread bias and abuse.

More on this story