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Picketers against homophobia beaten up in Voronezh

21 January 2013

Source: (info
Participants in a picket in Voronezh against a bill to ban "homosexual propaganda" have been beaten up, reports, citing the Voronezh-based human rights website One of the organisers of the picket, gay activist Andrei Nasonov, was hospitalised. The picket, which had been approved by the authorities, was held on Nikitinskaya Square, near the Proletariat cinema. 

Around a dozen LGBT rights defenders took part, and they were confronted there by an angry mob of several hundred homophobes. They unfurled banners saying "LGBT infringes our rights", "Voronezh is not Sodom", "We support public morals", "Mum and Dad - good. Dad and Dad - bad", and "We will protect our children from sexual debauchery". 

The homophobes had earlier declared their intention via social networks to drive off the picketers. Several hundred people opposed to gay propaganda gathered around the monument and blocked approaches to it in an attempt to prevent the picket from happening. 

When the activists turned up, the crowd first threw snowballs at them, then set upon the activists, floored several people and began to beat them. An elderly woman, who was passing by, was also hurt. 

Salesmen of the Adidas shop, which is located on the square, displayed mannequins with their hands in a Nazi salute. 

On Tuesday the State Duma will consider the bill to ban "homosexual propaganda" in the first reading. On this day, those against homophobia will hold a "Day of Kisses-2" event near the State Duma in response to an appeal by the journalist Elena Kostyuchenko. At midday activists will kiss in plain sight beside the Duma building. The previous "Day of kisses", on 20 December, ended in arrests.