1,000 police to take Moscow streets for banned gay pride parade
MOSCOW, May 26 (RIA Novosti) - Security will be tight in downtown Moscow Saturday when an unsanctioned gay parade could take place in central streets, a city police spokesman said Friday.
Opposition to the would-be event has been strong in Russia, especially from the Russian Orthodox Church and other religious leaders, and Moscow authorities fear that parade participants could be attacked by aggressively minded youth groups.
"About 1,000 policemen will be on duty in the city's center during the anticipated gay parade," Yevgeny Gildeyev said. "All the central streets will be under control, as the exact location where the organizers plan to hold the event is unknown."
Landmark meeting for gay Lebanese
For people routinely harassed and sometimes arrested by the Lebanese authorities, it was refreshing to be able to attend a public event without fear of being detained.
But the gun-toting policemen standing outside the hotel were not there to carry out a raid against the dozens of people who had gathered inside for the press conference by the gay rights organisation, Helem.
Instead, the police were there to ensure the safety of the event.
The press conference part of a three-day event organised by Helem to coincide with International Day Against Homophobia, which marks the day in May 1990 on which the World Health Organisation took homosexuality off its list of mental disorders.