Russia: With Gay Win Anniversary, Libs Fight For Gay Speech

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/moscow-police-detain-40-as-gay-activists-demand-right-to-hold-parade-face-christian-protest/2012/05/27/gJQArvQFuU_story.html

Russian Libs are celebrating their victory in helping Gays organize and attain legalization of sexual activity. But now the focus has shifted to protecting speech such as Pride parade permits and  ending petty prosecutions…fighting problems  initiated not by die-hard coercive Communists but extreme right coercive religionists.

Libertarians were among participants in a protest to have a Gay Pride parade in Moscow, and against laws that ‘to protect minors’ criminalize even holding up protest signs against anti-gay bigotry being driven by both right-religious and Communist leftover extremists. The  Parades are now legal in many countries and a key factor was when businesses realized they beneifitted financially from the parades.

 

MOSCOW — Gay activists tried to stage two demonstrations in Moscow on Sunday to demand the right to hold a gay pride parade in the Russian capital, but they were blocked first by Orthodox Christian opponents and then by police, who detained a total of about 40 people from both sides.

The gay activists first gathered outside the city council building, where a few scuffles occurred as their opponents tried to disrupt the demonstration, decrying homosexuality as a sin. After police broke up that protest, another group tried to stage a second protest at city hall, but once again police moved in and detained participants, including prominent gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev….

“It’s as if they thought that if all left-handed people held a parade, then afterward everyone would become left-handed,” Kaptur said. “This is wrong.”

Among the opponents of gay rights was Dmitry Tsarionov, who spoke to the crowd in front of a sign that said “Moscow is not Sodom.”

“I will not allow perverts to bring the wrath of God onto our city,” he said. “I want our children to live in a country where a sin that so awfully distorts human nature is not preached in schools.”

This month, Alexeyev became the first person convicted under a new law in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, which makes it a crime to spread “gay propaganda” among minors. Alexeyev was charged after he picketed St. Petersburg’s city hall with a placard that said “homosexuality is not a perversion.” He was fined 5,000 rubles (about $170).

The Russian parliament is considering extending the measure nationwide, which gay activists say would make it even easier to ban their public demonstrations.

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