Dozens march in Ukraine’s first-ever gay pride rally

KIEV, Ukraine — At least 50 gay rights activists have marched peacefully in the country’s first gay rally despite a court ban and attempts to disrupt the event.

Participants of the Saturday’s rally in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, held banners against discrimination and derogatory stereotypes of gays.

Photos: Efrem Lukatsky, AP
Activists in Ukraine’s first gay pride demonstration during the action in Kiev, Ukraine, on Saturday, May 25, 2013.

Riot police guarded the rally and prevented attempts by a dozen men to attack the activists.

Riot police stand guard during Ukraine’s first gay pride event.
Riot police stop Orthodox protesters who are trying to interrupt the pride event.
Riot police detain a protester who is trying to damage a poster during Ukraine’s first gay pride demonstration.
Riot police detain a protester who is trying to stop Ukraine’s first gay pride event.

While the recognition of gay rights advances in much of the West, antipathy toward homosexuals remains strong in Ukraine and other parts of the former Soviet Union.

Homosexuality was a criminal offense in the Soviet Union and societal resistance to it remains strong more than two decades later.

The highly influential Orthodox Church vehemently opposes gay rights.

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