Gay Rights Activist Roughed Up and Arrested During "FLASH" Pride Event In St. Petersburg, Russia (Video)

At least five gay rights activists were roughly arrested and taken to a police car in St. Petersburg, Russia Saturday for holding a banned rally outside the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg. Protestors had hoped to outwit authorities by only revealing the site at the last minute.

About 30 protestors had gathered outside the famous Hermitage museum on Palace Square, shouting slogans such as “Equality without compromise,” “Homophobia is an illness,” “Homophobia – the country’s shame” and “Marriage rights without compromises.  Activists had kept the location of Saturday’s rally a secret until the last minute in an attempt to prevent the arrests. Organizers said it was only their “military planning” that prevented further arrests at that rally.

A small group of anti-gay activists also showed up, attempting to attack the protesters. At least four of them were also detained.

Moscow’s Mayor Yury Luzhkov has described gay pride parades as “satanic” and gay rights activists have condemned the Russian authorities’ refusal to allow gay rights demonstrations.

As we celebrate gay pride today in many places in America please let us remember our oppressed brothers and sisters in Russia and other parts of the world.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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