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Dozens arrested at ‘unauthorized’ gay pride rally in Russia

Saturday, June 29, 2013

MOSCOW — Russian police arrested several gay rights activists and Russian nationalists who confronted them at a rally Saturday that was declared illegal under a new law against “gay propaganda.”

Officials in St. Petersburg deemed that the rally, which took place in a space designated for public demonstrations, violated the law. The statute essentially prohibits public displays of homosexuality, as well as talking about it to children.

Dmitry Lovetsky, AP
Gay rights activists shout slogans during their authorized rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays.

Dmitry Lovetsky, AP
Anti-gay protesters shout slogans at gay right activists during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013.

Dmitry Lovetsky, AP
Riot police (OMON) officers detain gay rights activist Jury Gavrikov during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013.

About 200 nationalists also gathered at the rally, chanting slogans such as “Sodomy will not pass,” and throwing eggs and rocks at the gay-rights activists, who numbered about 40.

The state-run Itar-TASS news agency quoted an unnamed police official as saying police arrested dozens of people, including eight nationalists.

The official said city authorities banned the rally beforehand for violating the “gay propaganda” law, even though using the space does not require the prior approval of city author ities, unlike other public rallies.

Russia’s parliament passed a law banning “gay propaganda” earlier this month. St. Petersburg was one of several cities to pass similar laws at local level before that.

The federal law imposes hefty fines for providing information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to minors or holding gay pride rallies. Those breaking the law will be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($156) for an individual and up to 1 million rubles ($31,000) for a company, including media organizations.

Gay-rights activists have staged several events aimed at violating the law in media-friendly ways. On Friday, three gay and two lesbian couples attempted to marry at a registry office in St. Petersburg, but were refused by authorities.

A widespread hostility to homosexuality is shared by much of Russia’s elite. Lawmakers have accused gays of decreasing Russia’s already low birth rates and said they should be barred from government j obs, undergo forced medical treatment or be exiled.

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35 more reader comments:

  1. who cares

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 9:30am
  2. A so called democratic country.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 9:32am
  3. disgusting.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 9:35am
  4. Russia are so retarded country….very sad:(

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 9:52am
  5. Bless our brave Russian LGBTQIA members standing up for PRIDE under such dire circumstances. They are truly brave and inspiring. We must always stand up for who we are!

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 9:52am
  6. what a shame!

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 9:52am
  7. We still have a long way to go here in the USA before our war for equality is won, I can only imagine how hard it must be to be Gay in Russia, Iraq or other countries that absolutely detest who we are. Sending good energy and prayers to our brothers and sisters fighting the fight of equality around the world.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 9:54am
  8. Fuck what the law says its a human right to be happy.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 9:58am
  9. They are very brave

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 10:04am
  10. They should send all there lgbtq folks to the USA and we will send them westboro, and all there homophobic peeps

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 10:42am
  11. God Bless our Russian Bros and Sisters

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 10:44am
  12. What a Shame!!! Putin is back at his crackdown of there citizens who just want to be recognized. Putin treating citizens like criminals.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 10:48am
  13. This won’t silence them! We will keep fighting those stupid bans!

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 10:54am
  14. I am amazed at the courage they have they are where we were 40 years ago and we all need to support their efforts from here on in

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 11:03am
  15. When is Russia going to learn? No matter what they do, they will never stop us. We aren’t going to stop until they get the message. They’re gonna have to learn sometime, the stupid bigoted bastards.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 11:29am
  16. They better shut down every frat party in the country then, for their blatant sexual pride.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 11:57am
  17. They are starting the same way we did! Keep it up!

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 12:58pm
  18. OMG

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 8:03pm
  19. fight on, rallyists….don’t give up

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 8:06pm
  20. I applaud them for being brave

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 8:07pm
  21. not rite

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 8:07pm
  22. Russian LGBT my heart goes out to u guys dont give up! FIGHT for equality!

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 8:08pm
  23. my heart goes out to them

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 8:09pm
  24. “Lawmakers have accused gays of decreasing Russia’s already low birth rates”

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 8:16pm
  25. Trying to raise two million dollars before 12december 2013 to proof to my girlfriend that everything in life is possible if you try i need a contribution from anyone of any amount from 1dollar to 2million ttt

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 8:30pm
  26. Just as things in the West are getting better, things are stagnant if not worsening in Russia. Very sad :(

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 9:28pm
  27. Stay Strong! There is always CHAOS before great change!

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 9:57pm
  28. ARG

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 10:20pm
  29. Russia is stuck in the 1950s America..so sad

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 10:27pm
  30. Boycott Stoli and other Russian products! Don’t travel there and encourage others to do the same with travel and shopping! Especially in Western Europe where there are more Russian goods to boycott. There aren’t so many in the U.S.

    Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 10:48pm
  31. Some very brave people. Glad that your message is getting out around the world and also that the world can see your government’s true colours.

    Posted on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 12:57am
  32. This shit is unnacceptable. Burn the citations and put prideflags on top of the buildings in the red square. Keep pushing for human rights, russian activists!

    Posted on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 2:46am
  33. We afraid to live here.7 murders, more than 20 beatings.This for two weeks.

    Posted on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 8:28am
  34. The human spirit can be repressed but it connot be killed by a government.

    Posted on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 10:14am
  35. A true example of profound courage given Putin’s anti-gay laws! Boycott Russia until they have equality for ALL their citizens. Take the Olympic games away from them for their violation of Human Rights!!!

    Posted on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 10:58am