Russian pride event attacked

By Rex Wockner

International News

About 100 people demonstrated against Russia's first legal gay pride event Nov. 20 in St. Petersburg. Some of the protesters threw eggs at the 15 gay ralliers, tore up signs, damaged a rainbow flag, shouted insults and sang religious hymns.

Organizers expressed disappointment at the level of police protection of the event.

"Police had to evacuate participants and they are all safe," said Moscow Pride founder Nikolai Alekseev, who drove 10 hours "on the icy road with snow and many trucks" to join the rally.

Around 10 counterdemonstrators were taken into custody. There is raw video of the showdown at http://grani-tv.ru/entries/1479/.

Russia's routine bans on public gay events recently were struck down by the European Court of Human Rights, in a series of cases brought by Alekseev.

Masked men tear-gas trans event in Ukraine

Thirty attendees at a Transgender Day of Remembrance event in Kiev, Ukraine, were attacked with tear gas by 10 men in masks Nov. 20.

In addition, activist Timur Lysenko from the group Insight was beaten at the gathering at the Visual Culture Center.

The incident occurred inside the building as the group watched the film Boys Don't Cry.

Victims are filing police complaints and pushing to have the incident classified as a hate crime rather than hooliganism, which was officials' preliminary assessment.

Aussie PM refuses to OK gay marriage despite public support

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard continues to oppose legalization of same-sex marriage despite polls that show the public supports it.

The latest Sydney Morning Herald/Nielsen poll, released Nov. 22, found that only 37 percent of Australians oppose same-sex marriage while 57 percent support it.

Among Australians who belong to Gillard's Labor Party, two-thirds support same-sex marriage and among Greens party voters, 86 percent support it.

Pollsters questioned 1,400 voters.

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