Russia is not yet known for its tolerance in matters of sexuality – far from it. Illustrating Russia’s persistent homophobia, St. Petersburg’s Gay Pride contingent protested in exceedingly adverse conditions over the weekend. Not only was the small group (of roughly 20 protesters, some from Belarus and Ukraine as well as Russia) beset by thugs, but they managed to protest for only a few minutes before the police arrived and arrested 14 of their group. Amazingly, Russia has yet to sanction a gay pride march.
“This situation is absurd,” commented Mr. Alekseev who was among those arrested in St. Petersburg. “Article 31 of the Russian Constitution guarantees freedom of assembly and we are arrested just in front of the Constitutional Court,” he added.
This weekend’s events coincided with marches all over the world, held in celebration of the approval of same-sex marriage in New York state.