Moscow Gay Rights Rally ends in violence and arrests

By Cathy Kristofferson, May 25, 2013

Update May 26  – Video add down below

We reported earlier here on OBLOGDEE about Ukraine’s 1st ever Gay Pride March happily occurring despite multiple political attempts to derail it.  The folks in Moscow were not so lucky.

Associated Press/Ivan Sekretarev

Police detain a gay rights supporter, left, and an opponent, right. AP/Ivan Sekretarev

Today in the Russian capital of Moscow, activists and opponents clashed in an unsanctioned gay rights rally that led to the arrest of at least 30 gay rights campaigners and Christian Orthodox vigilantes.  Police also enforced the city’s new ban on gay rights demonstrations.

The gay rights campaigners were trying to unfurl banners denouncing the Kremlin-backed anti-gay legislation in front of Russia’s lower house of parliament when they were attacked by vigilantes carrying religious icons and crosses.

Police detain Russia's leading gay rights campaigner Yuri Gavrikov during an unsanctioned gay rally near the City Hall in Moscow, Saturday, May 25, 2013.

Police detain Russia’s leading gay rights campaigner Yuri Gavrikov. AP/Ivan Sekretarev

Like the Ukraine, Russia decriminalized homosexuality in the early 1990s but levels of homophobia continue to rise.  Today’s violence comes amid claims by both gays and allies that the government and the Christian Orthodox churches encourage vigilante groups to commit these acts of violence.

You may remember that we reported here in February about Scott Lively’s congratulatory blog post of his letter to the Russian people when the Kremlin gave preliminary approval to anti-gay legislation many believe would effectively ban gay rights demonstrations, where Lively noted:

“On Jan. 25 of this year the Russian State Duma, its highest legislative body, voted to prohibit homosexual advocacy to children, following the enactment of similar legislation in a number of Russian cities, including St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk (the capital of Siberia).  I am personally very pleased to see this development, having called specifically for legislation of this sort in my speaking tour of the former Soviet Union in 2006 and 2007.”

Russian police detain a gay rights activist during a rally outside the Duma, the lower house of Parliament. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Russian police detain a gay rights activist during a rally outside the Duma, the lower house of Parliament. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

So whenever we see such hate and violence in Russia, as we did today, be assured that Scott Lively’s hands, along with those of the Russian Christian Orthodox Church, are all over it, causing the harm and persecution he tries to bluff does not exist, when he purports to be merely exercising his First Amendment Rights. (and supposing the U.S. First Amendment Rights are available to Lively in the former Soviet Union.)

When will the United States and the United Nations step up and put actions to their words?  Just one month ago UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said “LGBT rights is one of the great, neglected human rights challenges of our time”.

Yes they are. So what are we doing about it?

Imagine the courage it takes to unfurl a rainbow flag here:

About (Google Chrome translation):

Police broke up a homophobic and aggressive actions to protect the rights of LGBT people in Moscow. May 25, 2013, video Dmitry Zykov.

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2 Comments on “Moscow Gay Rights Rally ends in violence and arrests”

  1. paulakey245562841 May 25, 2013 at 3:14 PM #

    First Amandment Rights…..oh, yeah…look at the word “Rights” – When do LGBT folk get their rights to live as equal human beings. Lively is the modern “Hitler.” He is a bully with a hatred to match Hitler…
    Love will overcome hatred…..strength over fear…..juxtice over injustice.

  2. Rod Wright May 25, 2013 at 3:52 PM #

    Geees, one comment to congratulate our LGBT brothers and sisters in Kiev. One comment commiserating with our Russian brothers and sisters. Sad situation in Moscow. Once again the church right there causing the fight. What is the church so afraid of? Hang in there you brave LBGTs.

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