National Coming Out Day in Russia marred by police detentions

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October 14, 2014

Saturday was National Coming Out Day, when we support LGBT people coming out, while raising awareness of the difficulties surrounding the process of coming out. In Russia, the commemoration of National Coming Out Day sparked police detentions.

According to a Washington Blade article, Russian police detained eight people who were organizing and participating in a National Coming Out Day protest in Moscow this weekend. All of the 8 LGBT advocates were charged with disobeying police and released after three hours.

According to Nikolai Baev and Dima Svetliy, who were among those taken in custody, local authorities had approved the protest and there were no reasons for police intervention. The rally was peaceful. Protesters were caring a banner and a rainbow flag while giving out fliers to passersby. It was a very different National Coming Out Day experience for the Russian LGBT community than for its American counterparts.

Here is the video filmed by one of the participants. It shows the course of the protest, police arrival and the entire arrest. 

The anti-LGBT discrimination and violence has increased in the country after President Vladimir Putin signed a bill prohibiting so called gay propaganda to minors in 2013. Despite the international efforts and pressure, situation for LGBT people in Russia remains alarming.