Moscow Gay Rights Activists Arrested After Bloody Melee

Activists were petitioning for the right to hold a gay-pride parade

By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff

Posted May 28, 2007 7:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – Gay-rights protesters petitioning the mayor of Moscow to lift the ban on gay-pride parades  yesterday were punched and kicked by anti-gay extremists shouting "death to homosexuals."  About 20 protesters were detained by police.

The attackers were said to be nationalists and Russian Orthodox extremists; one told Reuters they were protecting Moscow, a "holy city for all Russians," from "satanic" homosexuals. Richard Fairbrass, of the British pop band Right Said Fred, was punched in the face and kicked while being interviewed by Reuters.

Gay rights activists demonstrate in downtown Moscow.
Gay rights activists demonstrate in downtown Moscow.   (Associated Press)
A gay rights activist is attacked in Moscow.
A gay rights activist is attacked in Moscow.   (Associated Press)
Russian OMON riot police officers detain a man as gay rights activists try to hold a demonstration in downtown Moscow Sunday, May 27, 2007. Russia.
Russian OMON riot police officers detain a man as gay rights activists try to hold a demonstration in downtown Moscow Sunday, May 27, 2007. Russia.   (Associated Press)
Gay rights activists head to their meeting point to hold a demonstration in downtown Moscow.
Gay rights activists head to their meeting point to hold a demonstration in downtown Moscow.   (Associated Press)
Demonstrators carry a poster reading Love protesting city officials' ban of a gay rights parade in Moscow.
Demonstrators carry a poster reading "Love" protesting city officials' ban of a gay rights parade in Moscow.   (Associated Press)
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