Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov said that authorities in the Russian capital will continue to ban gay pride parades, claiming that such events contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS, Russian Information Agency (RIA) Novosti reports.

An unsanctioned gay pride parade took place June 1 on Moscow’s main Tverskaya Street. The event drew nearly 200 people; Moscow police later detained about 13 of them.

“We have banned and will continue to forbid this propaganda by sexual minorities as they could turn out to be one of the factors in the spread of HIV infections,” Luzhkov said.

Over the past three years, Moscow city authorities have rejected gay parade organizers’ official applications on the grounds that the event would interfere with the rights and everyday lives of ordinary Muscovites.

Russian gay rights activists have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights five times—twice against the Russian authorities’ decision to ban gay marches in May 2006 and 2007 and three times over pickets in 2007.