St. Petersburgh Russia’s First "Sanctioned" Gay Rights March Interuppted By Violence And Halted

Anti-gay protesters hurled eggs and shouted insults at participants in Russia’s first state-approved gay rights march, held today in St. Petersburg.

Skinheads, radicals, Orthodox Christians and even elderly women are being accused of attacking about a dozen marchers. The marchers held signs calling for greater tolerance of gays and lesbians and for improved human rights in Russia.  “The fact that this demonstration was authorized is a step forward for us and for all of democratic Russia,” Maria Efremenkova, one of the organizers, told a reporter with AFP.

Police attempted to protect the marchers, who were outnumbered by the counter-protesters. About 100 people converged on 10 gay rights activists, according to radio broadcaster Echo Moskvy. The anti-gay protesters shouted slogans slurring homosexuals and tore up pro-gay posters and banners.

The gay rights march was halted after 40 minutes because of safety concerns.

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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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