Moscow police arrest gay marchers

May 29, 2011 at 8:26 AM
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MOSCOW, May 29 (UPI) -- Two Americans were among about 30 gay pride parade supporters and opponents arrested in central Moscow, officials said.

Officials had denied a request for the pride parade previously this month after receiving complaints from the Moscow City Parent Committee and religious groups warning of possible violence. Organizers tried to hold the parade anyway, resulting in the Saturday arrests, RIA Novosti reported.

"Eighteen activists of the so-called gay movement and 16 opponents of holding a minority's parade were arrested," a Moscow spokesman said.

The New York Times said among those arrested were Iraq war veteran and gay rights campaigner Dan Choi and Andy Thayer, a Chicago-based activist. They were in Moscow to support the rally and were later released.

Several activists reported minor injuries in scuffles with police.

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