LGBT rights activists in Russia have been attacked and arrested during a protest on Wednesday against efforts to ban so-called “gay propaganda”.
The protests took place in a number of cities in response to plans by the Russian parliament to consider anti-gay legislation that would fine individuals and organisations for “promoting” gay rights to minor.
In Moscow, around 20 activists held up signs against the proposed law and held kiss-ins near the parliament, reported the Russian LGBT Network.
Anti-gay orthodox Christian protestors, who had gathered nearby, reacted by throwing eggs and attacking the gay and lesbian couples.
Police intervened and arrested 18 people; 11 LGBT activists, five orthodox protesters and two journalists.
Smaller protests were also held in St Petersburg, Tomsk and Arkhangelsk without incident.
The homophobic legislation was set to be debated by the Duma, the lower chamber of parliament, on Wednesday, but this has now been moved to 22 January.
The bill, say critics, will violate Russians’ freedom of expression and discriminate against and stigmatise Russia’s LGBT community.