Moscow: Gay rights campaigners attacked outside Russian Parliament

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

Gay rights campaigners have been attacked outside the Russian Parliament – a day after a leading football team was forced to deny it was both homophobic and xenophobic.

Sky News reports the clashes took place near the State Duma.

Several activists on both sides were detained by police amid the protest against a new law banning “gay propaganda”.

Last week, the European Parliament condemned the Russian Parliament over the proposed bill.

Russian courts in as many as nine regions currently punish the positive portrayal of gay people, in measures first adopted in 2006.

Lawmakers representing United Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s party, want to extend these measures at a federal level.

However, earlier this month, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, said he did not see any reason why homosexuality should be banned legally in the country, and that it is not a big issue for many Russians.

On Tuesday, FC Zenit, a football club based in Russia’s second largest city of St Petersburg, insisted the club were not bigoted, after its largest fan group published a manifesto that attempted to justify a policy of discriminating against black and gay players.

The club is based in the same city that passed a notorious anti-gay censorship law earlier this year.