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Protesters Attack Gay-Rights Rally in Russia

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on October 14, 2013 at 8:00 PM
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 Protesters Attack Gay-Rights Rally in Russia

Orthodox protesters attacked on a gay-rights rally, chanting hymns and prayers, and leading to arrests on both sides in Saint Petersburg.

About 20 gay-rights activists had gathered in the centre of Russia's second city for the rally, waving rainbow flags and signs with messages such as "Stop homophobia in Russia!"

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But the rally was cut short when a group of about 50 Orthodox Christian counter-demonstrators, singing and reciting prayers, attacked the activists, said an AFP photographer.

Police broke up the fight and arrested activists from both sides, about 20 people in all.

Gay rights is a divisive issue in Russia, where homosexuality was considered a crime until 1993 and a mental illness until 1999.

In June, President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial new law against "gay propaganda" that has drawn international condemnation and calls to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in southwestern Russia.

Source: AFP
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