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Russia: Anti-gay violence overshadows LGBT event01:08

Russia: Anti-gay violence overshadows LGBT event

Russian Federation, St. Petersburg
May 17, 2013 at 14:00 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russia: Anti-gay violence overshadows LGBT event

LGBT activists were attacked in St. Petersburg on Friday after smoke pellets were hurled at them by demonstrators gathered to oppose their march. Police detained seventeen people in the incident, which comes on the International Day Against Homophobia.

The rally was approved by local authorities as a protest meeting, and hundreds of activists gathered to express their points of view. Dozens of police officers were also present. Following the attack, the LGBT activists left the area escorted by police.

40 percent of Russians believe that LGBT individuals should be provided with services to make them straight, with only eight percent believing that LGBT rights activists should be supported in their cause, according to the Levada Center, a Russian independent research organisation. International Day Against Homophobia is an annual event, with more than 70 events scheduled to take place in over 38 countries.

LGBT rights is a contentious issue in Russia. Homosexuality was classified as a crime until 1993, and a mental condition until 1999. Last year, St. Petersburg adopted legislation that punishes the public 'promotion' of homosexuality.

Russia: Anti-gay violence overshadows LGBT event01:08
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Russia: Anti-gay violence overshadows LGBT event

LGBT activists were attacked in St. Petersburg on Friday after smoke pellets were hurled at them by demonstrators gathered to oppose their march. Police detained seventeen people in the incident, which comes on the International Day Against Homophobia.

The rally was approved by local authorities as a protest meeting, and hundreds of activists gathered to express their points of view. Dozens of police officers were also present. Following the attack, the LGBT activists left the area escorted by police.

40 percent of Russians believe that LGBT individuals should be provided with services to make them straight, with only eight percent believing that LGBT rights activists should be supported in their cause, according to the Levada Center, a Russian independent research organisation. International Day Against Homophobia is an annual event, with more than 70 events scheduled to take place in over 38 countries.

LGBT rights is a contentious issue in Russia. Homosexuality was classified as a crime until 1993, and a mental condition until 1999. Last year, St. Petersburg adopted legislation that punishes the public 'promotion' of homosexuality.