Protest against Russian antigay bill turns violent
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||22 January 2013|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Protest against Russian antigay bill turns violent, 22 January 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5122357e28.html [accessed 8 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
January 22, 2013
A gay rights activist stands in front of the State Duma after being punched during a protest in Moscow on January 22.
Supporters of a controversial Russian bill banning "homosexual propaganda" have clashed with gay activists outside Russia's parliament.
A dozen gay rights activists had gathered in Moscow to protest the bill by kissing each other.
A group of young men attacked the activists, taking away and tearing up their posters and shouting obscenities at them.
The State Duma is to consider a federal bill that makes the dissemination of information about Russia's gay community to minors punishable by fines of up to $16,000.
Several Russian cities including St. Petersburg already have adopted such laws.
Lawmakers, government officials, and Russia's Orthodox Church have supported the bill, saying homosexuality clashes with traditional Russian values.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia 20 years ago but homophobia remains strong in Russian society.
Based on reporting by AP and ITAR-TASS