Saturday, May 16, 2009

Russian Police (Red Army) Violently Break Up Gay Pride Rally (Video)

Police detain Russian gay rights leader Alexeyev in Moscow (Sky News)

Moscow police dispersed a gay pride rally that was banned by city authorities, drawing attention to Russia's record on gay rights as it prepares to host a major international pop music competition.

It's not just the U.S. battling same-sex marriage. A counter protester says Russia is not anti-gay, instead they are merely trying to avoid "legalizing sin".

What's the difference?

Sky News reports:

Russian riot police have violently broken up a gay rights demonstration in Moscow, shattering any hopes that the Eurovision Song Contest final being held here would shield protesters from abuse.

A small group of protesters defied the official ban by staging a small demonstration near Moscow's university, holding banners saying "gay rights" and chanting "homophobia is the disgrace of our country".

British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell joined the group seconds before the Russian riot police moved in, rounding up protesters and dragging them to buses nearby.

Shortly before his detention, Mr Tatchell told Sky News he came to Russia because he wanted to show his solidarity.

"Russia's government ignores requests of gay rights campaigners for protection from discrimination, and refuses to talk to them.

"The atmosphere in Russia is very repressive. The whole world has to support activists here who are fighting for gay human rights and the right for assembly," Mr Tatchell said.

On his Twitter account, Mr Tatchell wrote: "Arrested. Shortest march I've ever been on."

He later said he had been freed from a police station but said he was worried about the march's organiser.

City authorities banned the Slavic Gay Pride because they claimed it would "destroy morals" in society.

"Moscow has never had gay parades and never will," said Sergei Tsoi, a spokesman for the mayor of Moscow.

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