Russian police have “detained” around 25 gay rights activists who took part in an unsanctioned gay rights rally in St Petersburg on Saturday.
Activists gathered at Palace Square on Saturday afternoon demanding freedom of association after city authorities turned down their request to hold a Pride parade.
City authorities rejected their request, saying there was ongoing road repairs in the city and claiming that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) actions were “harmful to the health of children.”
Police detained campaigners who unfurled rainbow flags or held placards, dragging them one by one into a police bus. There were no violent clashes between police and the activists and as of now there have been no formal charges brought.
Russia passed a law in 2013 signed by Vladimir Putin banning the spreading of gay “propaganda”.
We will update this story as more details become known.
BRAVO television’s Andy Cohen is taking a stand against Russia’s draconian anti-gay laws and is refusing to take part in his yearly gig as co host of the 2013 Miss Universe competition, which will be held on Nov. 9 at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia.
Cohen made the announcement to friend and pageant co-host of the past two years, E! News’ Giuliana Rancic, that he turned it down because “their discriminatory policies make it unsafe for the gays who live there and gays coming to work or visit.”
“The law is that anyone under suspicion of homosexuality can be arrested,” he told Rancic, adding that he “didn’t feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia.”
As of this writing over 23,000 of people have signed the petition of Francesco Pascuzzi, a lifelong pageant fan and openly gay man from Somerville, New Jerseyn calling on the Miss Universe Organization, owned and operated by Donald Trump, to relocate its upcoming pageant from Moscow, Russia in November 2013.
As for Andy Cohen, BRAVO!
This almost makes up for you turning BRAVO into the Real Housewives Channel!