Thirty arrested at Moscow Pride event

More than 30 people, including gay military activist Dan Choi and Chicago queer activist Andy Thayer, were arrested today in Moscow during the sixth attempt by LGBT Russians to hold a Pride parade in the Russian capital.

According to the group Gay Russia, right-wing extremists clashed with activists gathered in front of the Kremlin, resulting in the arrests of 18 pro-gay and 14 anti-gay demonstrators. A police spokesman for Moscow City police told CNN that the gay group did not have permission to stage a parade.

“We have been asking for the last six years to gather. We are being deprived of a very simple right that is taken for granted in democratic countries,” said Nikolai Alexeyev, head of Gay Russia and chief organizer of the Moscow Gay Pride Parade.

Alexeyev said as soon as activists took out their banners and flags, dozens of members of an ultra-Orthodox group attacked the activists.

Gay rights flags and banners that read ‘Russia is not Iran’ were displayed in the crowd.

Last October, the European Court of Human Rights fined Russia for banning gay parades in the capital.