Rights Court Condemns Moscow Gay Parade Ban

STRASBOURG -- The European Court of Human Rights has condemned the city of Moscow for violating the rights of gays and lesbians.

It says the city banned gay pride events in 2006, 2007 and 2008, just because it disapproved of homosexuality.

On Thursday it ordered Moscow to pay event organizers $41,300 for damages and court costs.

The ruling orders Russia to respect human rights. If not, it faces ejection from the Council of Europe, the organization to which the rights court belongs.

The court's action came the same day that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's chief of staff was named the new mayor of Moscow. He replaces Yuri Luzhkov, who was fired by President

Dmitry Medvedev last month after 18 years in office.