John M. Becker

St. Petersburg Busts Up Pride Parade

Filed By John M. Becker | June 29, 2013 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: anti-gay laws, anti-gay violence, gay propaganda, Pride, pride parade, Russia, St. Petersburg

St_Petersburg_Pride.jpgLGBT activists were arrested in St. Petersburg, Russia today for participating in a gay pride parade, in violation of the state's ban on so-called "gay propaganda."

According to a report from the Associated Press, about 40 people courageously gathered to show their pride. Approximately 200 anti-gay nationalists also showed up, chanting homophobic slogans and pelting the equality activists with rocks and eggs.

Police arrested dozens, including all the participants in the pride parade and several nationalists. Some parade participants were apparently beaten badly by anti-gay protestors.

Bilerico contributor Joe Mirabella, who serves as Director of Communications for the international LGBT advocacy organization All Out, reacted with dismay:

"No one should be arrested for celebrating who they are or who they love.

"More than 185,000 people worldwide have signed a solidarity pledge with Russians who are calling on their government to stop the crackdown against lesbian, gay, bi and trans people that is fueling anti-gay violence. The world urges President Putin to show love and compassion for his fellow citizens who simply want to be who they are without sacrificing their family or freedom, safety or dignity."

On a weekend when many of us in the United States are celebrating Pride and an historic week for LGBT civil rights, we can't ever forget that many of our LGBT siblings -- both here in the United States and around the world -- still face discrimination, harassment, violence, prison, and sometimes even death, just for the "crime" of being who they are and loving who they love.

Our fight for equality continues until all members of our community, regardless of where they live, are safe, protected, and free.

Photo of St. Petersburg Pride clashes via the Russian LGBT Network.

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