United Russia deputy Vitaly Milonov, who helped draft the anti-gay laws in St. Petersburg, shut down a rowdy Halloween party in the city’s largest public park on October 31.
“Satanist freaks have organized a witches’ sabbath near an Orthodox cross and a monument to fallen soldiers,” Milonov tweeted.
Around a thousand partygoers were in Internationalists Park, celebrating with pumpkin carving and fireworks, when Milonov arrived to shut it down. Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that the group also “jokingly summoned the devil.” After police arrived, organizers informed the crowd that the gathering was ending “due to technical reasons.”
Milonov said that any Halloween festivities within close proximity of a church and a war memorial was “a slap in the face for all St. Petersburg residents.”
“We have managed to stop the sabbath,” Milonov wrote on his blog. “The forces are unequal. We are defending the cross.”
Milonov is well known as an intensely religious politician, and has made numerous public tirades denouncing Lady Gaga, Madonna, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster—the deity of the Flying Spaghetti Church (also known as Pastafarianism), a mock religion.
In October, openly gay entertainer and activist Stephen Fry discussed Russian anti-gay laws and culture with Milonav. In a video of the discussion, Milonov claims that those who identify as gay, including a woman who was raped in attempt to prove to her she was straight, are “lying” to themselves. Fry responded to Milonav, “Stop. Because you’re making a great fool of yourself on camera.”