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Court cancels Ukraine’s gay pride rally

Published: May 23, 2013 | 9:04 pm
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(CNA)-A Ukrainian court denied organizers permission to hold the country’s first gay pride demonstration in the centre of the capital, upholding a complaint by authorities that the rally would disturb annual Kyiv Day celebrations and could spark violence, globalnews reports.

A demonstration scheduled for a similar spot last year was cancelled by organizers at the last moment when skinheads gathered at the planned location, intent on beating up the participants.

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

The highly influential Orthodox Church strongly opposes gay rights. A small gay pride rally in the capital of Georgia last week was attacked by a large mob that included Orthodox priests; attempted rallies in Moscow in recent years have attracted crowds of bellicose Orthodox conservatives.

Ukrainian gay activists are now pondering whether to try to hold their demonstration at a different location on Saturday, far away from the annual celebration of the capital.

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