The administration of Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin on Tuesday rejected an application to hold a Gay Pride event in the city, The Moscow News reported.

The news stunned gay rights activists who earlier were led to believe that authorities would allow the May 28 event to proceed for the first time in six years.

But citing a risk to public disorder, the officials denied the organizer's request to hold the event in the Bolotnaya Ploshchad city park.

Former Mayor Yury Luzhkov banned such events and aggressively shut down any unauthorized pro-gay demonstrations. Before losing September's election, Luzhkov vowed to “crack down” on gay pride parades, which he called “Satanic acts.”

Gay activists challenged the bans in the European Court of Human Rights. In a decision handed down last year, the court agreed that such bans were illegal.

Sobyanin earlier said his administration would respect the rule of law, raising gay activists expectations that authorities would finally allow a Gay Pride parade to proceed.

Moscow authorities said they were reacting to loud protests from religious and Cossack communities.

“We deeply regret the missed opportunity of the new Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin to break with the discriminatory policies of his predecessor in this regard,” Paul LeGendre of Human Rights First said in a statement. “Gay rights are human rights in Russia, just as they are in the rest of the world. We call on the Moscow City Hall to reconsider the latest ban on Moscow Pride in line with the recent European Court of Human Rights verdict that upheld the right of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Russians to organize public events in accordance to the Russian Constitution.”

Nikolai Alexeyev, head of Moscow Pride, insisted the event would take place at another venue.