40 Arrested In Moscow Gay Rights Protest

From WashPo:

Gay activists tried to stage two demonstrations in Moscow on Sunday to demand the right to hold a gay pride parade in the Russian capital, but they were blocked first by Orthodox Christian opponents and then by police, who detained a total of about 40 people from both sides.

The gay activists first gathered outside the city council building, where a few scuffles occurred as their opponents tried to disrupt the demonstration, decrying homosexuality as a sin. After police broke up that protest, another group tried to stage a second protest at city hall, but once again police moved in and detained participants, including prominent gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev.

Nikolai-AlekseevAlexeyev, by the way, was the first man arrested in St. Petersburg under that city's new law prohibiting the "promotion" of homosexuality.

Moscow, which doesn't yet have such a law, is nevertheless famously unwiling to issue permits for gay pride parades. In March, city authorities banned a parade scheduled for this afternoon; it was the seventh consecutive year officials had refused permits. On the day the parade was banned, Alexeyev — who really gets around! — wrote that he was "getting ready for clashes on the 27th."

The Orthodox Christians with whom he clashed this morning are described by WashPo:

Among the opponents of gay rights was Dmitry Tsarionov, who spoke to the crowd in front of a sign that said “Moscow is not Sodom.”

“I will not allow perverts to bring the wrath of God onto our city,” he said. “I want our children to live in a country where a sin that so awfully distorts human nature is not preached in schools.”