A court has banned what would have been Ukraine's first gay-pride demonstration.

Kiev's district court on Thursday upheld a suit by city authorities, who argued that the rally would disturb annual Kiev Day celebrations and spark violence.

Last year, organizers canceled the event at the last minute when skinheads gathered at its planned location, intent on beating up the participants. Members of radical groups attacked two leading gay activists in subsequent weeks.

Lingering attitudes from the Soviet era, when homosexuality was illegal, and the influence of Orthodox Christianity ensure antipathy toward gays remains strong in Ukraine and other parts of the former Soviet Union.