independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Protests at first Ukraine gay rally

Riot police stop Orthodox protesters who are trying to interupt Ukraine's first gay pride demonstration in Kiev (AP)

At least 50 gay rights activists have marched peacefully in the country's first gay rally despite a court ban and attempts to disrupt the event.

Participants of the Saturday's rally in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, held banners against discrimination and derogatory stereotypes of gays.

Riot police guarded the rally and prevented attempts by a dozen men to attack the activists.

While the recognition of gay rights advances in much of the West, antipathy toward homosexuals remains strong in Ukraine and other parts of the former Soviet Union.

Homosexuality was a criminal offence in the Soviet Union and societal resistance to it remains strong more than two decades later.

The highly influential Orthodox Church vehemently opposes gay rights.

Press Association

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