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Protest against Russia’s proposed ‘gay propaganda’ law turns violent

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MOSCOW — Militant Orthodox activists on Tuesday attacked members of Russia’s embattled gay community protesting against a planned law banning “gay propaganda.”

Russia’s Parliament is to consider a federal law that makes public events and dissemination of information on the LGBT community to minors punishable by fines of up to $16,000. Lawmakers, officials and Russia’s dominant Orthodox church have hailed the law, saying it will boost Russia’s dwindling birth rates.

An Orthodox activist, right, reacts with a gay rights campaigner, during a protest outside of State Duma, Russian Parliament's lower chamber, in downtown Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013. A federal law banning "homosexual propaganda" has been submitted to the Duma late last year and hailed by officials and Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

An Orthodox activist, right, reacts with a gay rights campaigner, during a protest outside of State Duma, Russian Parliament’s lower chamber, in downtown Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday.
AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

A dozen LGBT rights campaigners gathered Tuesday in front of the parliament building in Moscow to protest the law by kissing each other. But a similar number of young men interrupted the protest, assaulting the campaigners, taking away and tearing down their posters and shouting obscenities at them.

The bill is part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values as opposed to “Western liberalism,” and is similar to laws already on the books in St. Petersburg and a number of other Russian cities.

The measure has been submitted to Russia’s lower house of parliament, which scheduled the the first of three hearings for today.

Those behind the bill said minors need to be protected from “homosexual propaganda” because they are unable to evaluate the information critically.

Russia decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, but homophobia remains strong.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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9 more reader comments:

  1. violence is everywhere it doesnt matter what country your in so sad where is the love

    Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 12:00pm
  2. - I really think that news links (at least) should have a “Recommend” button rather than “Like”…none of us exactly like this situation or the violence of its throes. All one can say about this political reactionarism is that it is necessary to grow forward and upward as humans, and some cultures are tragically more mindfracked and resistant to positive evolution. They think their tradition is upholding and perfecting them, and sufficient to that purpose, when it’s actually making them (or giving them excuse to be) cruel and inhuman beyond all tolerable margin of /original/ Christian behaviour. That ain’t spiritual growth in their vision – it’s a massive ethical cataract.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 12:07pm
  3. dislike1

    Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 12:16pm
  4. That’s what the “Share” link is for.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 12:19pm
  5. im searching for a new man

    Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 1:28pm
  6. that is NOT going to HELP anything…..VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER in getting EQUALITY.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 2:03pm
  7. actually they also need a DISLIKE button, along with the LIKE one.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 2:04pm
  8. Russia is such a shithole.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 3:01pm
  9. A fine display of Russia’s savagery…. That country is so backward.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 3:19pm