Gay Rights Activists Attacked During Rally In Moscow

Dan Choi was one of the many gay activists attacked by an anti-gay ultra-Orthodox group during a small peaceful gay rights rally in Moscow today. 

The AFP reports:

"'We have come here to prevent this event from happening,' Orthodox group member Leonid Simonovich-Nikshich said as scuffles raged around him. 'God burned down Sodom and Gomorrah and he will burn down Moscow too if we let things like this happen,' he told AFP. Members of the religious group wore black robes and brandished Christian Orthodox cross. An AFP correspondent saw one man rip up a picture of Elton John -- the openly gay icon of the global gay and lesbian community."

"The small group of rights activists were mostly composed of young people who chanted 'Russia without homophobia' and wore shirts with signs such as 'I love her.' Police had cordoned off the area in advance to thwart activists' plans to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier."

Reports are 18 gay rights activists and 14 anti-gay demonstraters were arrested. Other than Choi, other gay rights leaders arrested today were Peter Tatchell and Louis-George Tin. Russian activist Nikolai Alexeyev was not present at the demonstration. Choi live-tweeted his arrest and revealed on the site that detained foreigners have been released from jail. He's asking for a translation of the charges against him.

Watch mobile phone video of Choi talking about his arrest while he is in the back of a paddy wagon, AFTER THE JUMP.

UK Gay News has a rundown of events from the parade.

Gay Russia has a slideshow of photos from the rally. A slide show of images also accompany this article from the AP.

Watch a few dramatic videos of the rally, AFTER THE JUMP.

Posted May 28, 2011 at 2:19pm ETC by Steve Pep
in Dan Choi, Gay Pride, moscow