MOSCOW ‚Äî The mayor of Moscow, known for his overtly homophobic statements, said Monday that he would never allow a gay pride parade in the city, calling it “Satanic” and saying marchers should be punished.

“A gay parade… cannot be called anything but a Satanic act,” Yury Luzhkov told an education conference, quoted by Interfax news agency. “We haven’t permitted such a parade and we won’t permit it in the future.”

Luzhkov called for gay marchers to be punished. “It’s high time that we stop propagating nonsense discussions about human rights, and bring to bear on them the full force and justice of the law,” he said.

Gay rights campaigner Nikolai Alexeyev reaffirmed that plans for this year’s gay pride parade will go ahead despite the ban.

Good for them. By the way, how’s that whole “catching up to Europe” thing going?

(h/t AMERICAblog Gay)