09/29/2011 10:47 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Russia's Arkhangelsk Region Outlaws All Gay Events, Pride Parade

A new law outlawing all public displays of homosexuality, including Pride parades, has gone into effect in the Arkhangelsk region of Russia reports RT.com.

The measure, which was drafted by several local activist organizations and religious groups, is being championed most vigorously by the Russian Orthodox Church.

“All priests know that the souls of those who suffered through sinful homosexual experience are empty and desperate,” said Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Russian Orthodox Church PR department, who added, "And it is this insecurity in a minute-long pleasure that forces these spiritually unhealthy people to hold marches and other public demonstrations.”

Chaplin has been a busy man of late. Yesterday he appeared on Ekho Moskvy radio to insist that the Russian government remove Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita" from high school classrooms because the books "romanticize perverted passions that make people unhappy." He also asserted the acclaimed novels justified pedophilia. "Obviously, the popularization of these novels in schools will not make our society more morally happy," he said.

Sadly, the new law won't come as a shock to many in Russia. In May more than 30 people, including American "dont ask, don't tell" activist Dan Choi, were arrested in Moscow while attempting to stage a Pride parade. Police disrupted the event because they say organizers did not have the proper permits.

In October of 2010 the European Court of Human Rights found that the ban on Pride parades in Russia was unlawful and urged the nation to allow LGBT people to peacefully assemble. The Court also fined the government 30,000 euros for banning the parades in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

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