Homophobic protesters hurling eggs and bottles have forced a gay club in Moscow to cancel what was billed as the city’s largest gay and lesbian party.
Police were forced to intervene when at least 100 skinheads, fascists nationalists and elderly Christian fundamentalists clutching Orthodox icons descended on the club at 10pm (6pm GMT) last night.
Organisers had hoped to attract over a thousand people to the “Open Party” at the Renaissance Event Club in the south of Moscow.
The AFP news agency reported that at least one gay clubber was beaten by protesters although the police have not officially reported any injuries.
Nikolai Alexeyev, one of the organisers claimed of Moscow’s gay pride which is due to take place later this month (with or without permission) said the attack was a “mass, coordinated action aimed at intimidating Russian gays and lesbians”.
Igor Artyomov, of the Nationalist RONS party, told AFP that the demonstration was a “peaceful” protest against “sin”.
The capital has been under scrutiny from the international community since its mayor, Yury Luzhkov said: “all attempts to organise a gay parade, in any form, open or disguised, will be resolutely quashed”.
Responding to this, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone told PinkNews.co.uk in February, “I believe that equality for lesbians and gay men is a fundamental human right. Equality must include the right to hold Gay Pride Parades and other public events, which celebrate the contribution of the lesbian and gay communities to the life of the world’s great cities. That is why I support the Moscow Pride Parade.”