A small number of gay rights activists have staged a kissing protest outside the Russian parliament in opposition to a Kremlin bill, which will make “homosexual propaganda” illegal.
A gay kiss in public could result in a 12,000 euro fine, if the Duma votes in favour of legislation.
Elena Kostyuchenko is a gay rights campaigner and journalist with the newspaper Novaya Gazeta:
“The law absolutely does not define what ‘gay propaganda’ is, and the reasons are understandable because there is no gay propaganda.”
What began as public kissing ended in public violence as the protesters came under attack from homophobic Muscovites:
“Moscow is not Sodom. We are here to support normal people, healthy people that want to create stable, Orthodox families and raise their children in the spirit of Orthodox traditions, brotherhood and popular unity,” fumed one anti-gay man.
The government and the Orthodox Church see the bill as part of a move to promote traditional Russian values.
Gay activists were also attacked in the city of Voronezh on Sunday.