Riot police broke up an attempt by gays and lesbians to stage Moscow's first gay pride parade Saturday. Gay activists who attempted to lay flowers near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin wall and then assemble across from city hall were heckled and assaulted by skinheads, Orthodox Christians and radical nationalists.
Police said they had arrested about 120 people, both supporters and opponents of the parade. Gay activists were dragged away by riot police when they began speaking to reporters, but opponents of the parade, including a nationalist member of parliament, were allowed to speak and chant, "Moscow is not Sodom." ...
The city had banned the parade on the grounds that it was anathema to the values of most residents and therefore presented a threat of violence. A city court upheld the ban Friday.
Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said in a radio interview Friday that a gay parade "may be acceptable for some kind of progressive, in some sense, countries in the West, but it is absolutely unacceptable for Moscow, for Russia."
He added: "As long as I am mayor, we will not permit these parades to be conducted."
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Democracy in Russia (cont'd)
It hangs by a thread, especially if you're gay.