Russian Police Arrest Gay Rights Activists Under "Gay Propaganda" Law

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 29 2013 6:57 PM

Russian Police Arrest Protesters for Violating "Gay Propaganda" Law

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A gay rights activist is seen after clashes with anti-gay demonstrators during a gay pride event in St. Petersburg on June 29, 2013.

Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images

Dozens of people were arrested during a gay pride rally in St. Petersburg, Russia on Saturday as gay rights supporters clashed with anti-gay Russian nationalists. The rally itself was declared illegal under a new Russian statute forbidding "gay propaganda." Anti-gay protesters chanted homophobic slogans and threw rocks and eggs at the approximately 40 gay rights activists who were rallying in a public space.

The "gay propaganda" law, which in effect bans public displays of homosexuality in the country, passed Russia's parliament earlier this month. From the AP:

The federal law imposes hefty fines for providing information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to minors or holding gay pride rallies. Those breaking the law will be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($156) for an individual and up to 1 million rubles ($31,000) for a company, including media organizations.
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Meanwhile on Saturday, gay rights supporters in the U.S. celebrated two big Supreme Court victories with pride celebrations, and by lining up at city hall to tie the knot.

More photos from the St. Petersburg rally below:

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Gay rights activists take part in a gay pride event in Saint Petersburg on June 29, 2013.

Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images

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Russian riot police detain anti-gay protesters during a Gay pride event in St. Petersburg on June 29, 2013.

Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images

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Anti-gay demonstrators gather on the sidelines of a gay pride event in Saint Petersburg on June 29, 2013.

Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images

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Gay rights activists take part in a gay pride event in Saint Petersburg on June 29, 2013.

Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.