Gay activist in a bride's outfit tries to escape from a policeman   /   Photo:

Police break up gay parade in Moscow

Russian police forcefully broke up an unauthorized march by homosexuals in Moscow on Saturday, news agencies reported.

Some 20 activists were detained and dragged into a waiting police bus.

The gay activists weare reported to be holding white carnations and waving banners, including “We are demanding equal rights without compromise” and “Homophobia is a disgrace of this country”.

Police pushed waiting reporters away as they arrested the gay and lesbian participants but there were no beatings.

According to media reports, those arrested included British and Russian campaigners, Nikolai Alexeyev, a Russian gay rights leader among them.

Moscow’s sexual minorities have scheduled their march to draw international attention to gay rights discrimination in Russia. Some popular Eurovision participants are known to have expressed their full support of the gay pride parade and even threatened to boycott the event if the march was not allowed to happen.

Moscow officials have repeatedly banned gay actions, allegedly fearing not only violation of moral standards, but also out of concern for participants’ safety.

According to updated media reports, up to 80 gay protesters were seized by the Moscow riot police in different parts of the capital throughout the day.

Among those detained were British activist Peter Tatchell and American activist Andy Thayer of Chicago, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network.

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