Gay Rights Rally in Russia Ends in Fights, Arrests


Russian police officers detained 18 gay activists and 14 opponents during an attempted unauthorized gay-pride parade in Moscow on Saturday, May 28, 2011. The arrests resulted from opponents of gay rights “scuffling” with both the demonstrators and the police, according to the Associated Press.

“Three prominent gay rights leaders; Dan Choi, Andy Thayer and France’s Louis-George Tin, have been detained by police in Moscow,” reports AJ Allen on “Hundreds attended an unsanctioned rally near the Kremlin Wall. British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell said that police had tried to arrest him but he had managed to get away.”

Although it is supposedly not illegal to be gay in Russia, anti-gay sentiment is high.  The justification used to ban demonstrations is preventing violence and fights.

Activists tried to hold a demonstration at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin and later outside the mayor's office, according to “The attempted demonstration at the first site appeared aimed at connecting gay rights with the Soviet Union's stand against Germany in World War II, which remains a cornerstone of Russian national pride.”

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Post-Soviet Russia in 1993. “Six years later, the law that sent gays and lesbians to psychiatric wards was annulled. But Russia would still rather have its homosexual citizenry invisible — and silent,” states The Equivocator.


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