News / Europe

Clashes, Arrests at Russian Gay Rights Rally

Gay rights activist shouts during protest, St. Petersburg, Oct. 12, 2013.
Gay rights activist shouts during protest, St. Petersburg, Oct. 12, 2013.
Reuters
Police arrested 67 people after a fight broke out between gay rights activists and their opponents at a demonstration in the Russian city of St Petersburg on Saturday.
 
Gay rights campaigners in Russia have held several small protests since the adoption of a law in June banning homosexual "propaganda" directed at minors.
 
Critics say the law curtails homosexuals' rights to free speech and assembly.
 
The issue has attracted growing international attention ahead of Russia's hosting of the Winter Olympics in Sochi next year. Gay rights activists have called for participants and sponsors to boycott the games in protest at the law.
 
The disturbance in central St Petersburg began after a group of around 15 gay rights activists tried to hold a demonstration to mark International Coming Out Day.
 
They were far outnumbered by the anti-gay demonstrators, including several dressed as Cossacks and Orthodox priests, who had occupied the site of the planned demo.
 
The anti-gay demonstrators included several elderly women who chanted Russian Orthodox prayers.
 
"The homophobes broke up the action with the help of the police," said Natalia Tsymbalova, one of the organizers of the gay rights demonstration.
 
Another demonstrator named Maria told Reuters that when a pro-gay demonstrator tried to unfurl a rainbow-colored flag, she was manhandled to the ground and the flag torn from her.
 
A police representative told Reuters that 67 people had been detained.
 
They included both gay rights activists and their opponents.
 
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has denied the new law is aimed at cracking down on homosexuals' rights.
 
Opinion polls suggest it is backed by a majority of Russians, including many conservative Russian Orthodox believers who regard homosexuality as a sin.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: devon from: louisiana,usa
October 13, 2013 6:26 PM
i question the poll,because the rights of a minority should not be tested by the polls of a majority anyway.,, and the bigots use bully tactics that skews the results. this bigot agenda being pushed by the orthodox church in russia are using gay rights to fear the people of russia, fear is a motivator and they know it!!
In Response

by: NC2 from: San Francisco
October 14, 2013 10:32 AM
we need to do a better job putting global pressure on Russia by targeting those who they will listen to - athletes and Olympic Sponsors.

by: Bruce from: Michigan, USA
October 13, 2013 3:02 PM
I still can't believe we're having the Olympics in this godforsaken country.

by: rbockman from: Philly
October 12, 2013 10:46 PM
bravo Russia

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs