Dozens detained in failed Russian gay pride march

by Reuters
Saturday, 28 May 2011 12:18 GMT

* Moscow police prevents gay pride march for sixth year

* Detains around 40 gay activists and opponents - agencies

MOSCOW, May 28 (Reuters) - Dozens of people were detained by police in the Russian capital Moscow on Saturday after gay rights activists and their opponents clashed at the sixth straight attempt to hold a gay pride parade.

Gay rights activists had hoped that Moscow's new mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, would finally allow parades after years of being refused permission by the authorities.

Gay rights activists who gathered near the Kremlin walls were met by far right groups who attacked them as soon as they raised their rainbow flags and posters. The police swiftly intervened.

A separate meeting of gay activists near Moscow's government was broken up by police after about 20 minutes.

Russian news agencies said about 40 people had been detained.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, although much of Moscow's gay scene is still largely underground because prejudice against gays runs deep.

In October the European Court of Human Rights fined Russia for banning homosexual parades in Moscow, in what gay rights activists described as a historic victory. [ID:nLDE69K11T] (Reporting by Mikhail Voskresensky; Andrey Ostroukh; editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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