A ‘gay kissing day’ demonstration outside the Russian State Duma today ended in violence, as Christian Orthodox activists assaulted gay and lesbian protestors.
Gay and lesbians activists kissed today (22 January) in front of the Duma in protest of its plans to legalize a nationwide ban on so called ‘gay propaganda’.
Some of the 30 LGBT activists posed for photographs at the entrance to the Russian State Duma building while kissing and were violently attacked by Christian Orthodox activists, reported the Moscow Times.
Orthodox activists punched as well as threw eggs and ketchup as couples kissed.
They also snatched and tore posters and banners carried by LGBT activists and shouted obscenities at them.
Several journalists were also attacked.
The Russian State Duma eventually voted to postpone the nationwide ban on ‘gay propaganda’ indefinitely by returning the bill to the preparatory stage.
However, the nationwide proposal has pitted conservative forces lobbying for the ban against gay activists and human rights groups who oppose it.
The Russian Orthodox Church is one of the measure’s most prominent supporters.
Quoted by the Moscow Times, actress Galina Simonova who came to support the ban said: ‘These people are unhealthy, so they must stay quiet and be treated’.
Another anti-gay protestor jibed on EuroNews TV saying: ‘Moscow is not Sodom. We are here to support normal people, healthy people that want to create stable, Orthodox families and raise their children in the spirit of Orthodox traditions, brotherhood and popular unity’.
According to Itar-Tass, several Duma deputies watched the violent outbreak, and Ilya Ponomaryov of A Just Russia tried to break up the fight.
Former boxer Nikolai Valuyev, a deputy of the ruling United Russia, stood passively by and smiled before going inside the building.
Police did not block the gay activists from standing in front of the Duma building but stepped in when fighting broke out, arresting at least five Orthodox activists by the end of the protest.
The fighting continued even after gay activists had walked away from the Duma. Several Orthodox activists attacked two gay demonstrators inside the Okhotny Ryad metro station.
LGBT rallies protesting against the bill were held in several other cities Tuesday as well, including St. Petersburg, Voronezh, Arkhangelsk, Tomsk, Syktyvkar and Samara.
Gay activists were also reported to have been attacked in the city of Voronezh on Sunday (20 January).
Watch the assault on the LGBT protestors in a report from EuroNews: