Ban Can’t Stop Subdued Moscow Pride

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Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov may have banned the gay pride parade, but that didn’t stop some tenacious activists from make their voice heard. Well, sort of. Since they weren’t permitted to march down the street, the gays took a creative approach. And, yes, were met with protest:

Campaigners were too afraid to protest on the street, so a small group instead hung a banner calling for tolerance from an apartment window opposite Mr Luzhkov’s offices.

As the four activists unfurled the banner, Orthodox priests on the street below denounced the “moral corruption” of homosexuality.

Their female followers, clutching crucifixes, threw eggs at the banner which was quickly pulled down by angry neighbors – to the cheers of passers-by.

The crowd also cheered – and jeered – when the four activists who hung the banner were arrested. They were later released. There were, however, other arrests and spots of violence:

A police spokesman told AFP 36 people had been arrested at the event at which Russian Orthodox and far-right opponents hurled eggs at gay activists and, in one instance, were seen punching a gay man to the ground.

Those arrested were mainly opponents of the pride event rather than gay activists — suggesting police were keen to minimise trouble rather than strictly enforce the ban.

Meanwhile, earlier , about twenty activists gathered outside the Pyotr Tchaikovsky Conservatory and chanted “No to homophobia.” Many people claim the treasured composer was a bit bent, which would not please the nationalists much, we’re sure.