Far-right activists, Orthodox Christians blocked the entrance to nightclub; Police form human chain to separate protesters from clubbers
MOSCOW A group of skinheads and elderly Russian women holding religious icons disrupted a gay night at a Moscow nightclub, forcing clubbers to be evacuated by bus, media reported Monday.
More than 150 far-right activists and Orthodox Christian militants blocked the entrance to the La Guardia nightclub on the evening of April 30, the Interfax news agency reported, citing an unidentified police official.
Police had to form a human chain to separate the protesters from people inside the club and the party did not take place because most of its guests could not enter the club.
Some of the young people started to throw eggs, tomatoes and plastic bottles when the guests began leaving the club by bus, according to footage shown by NTV television.
“We know this is a sin, and we can’t allow it to flourish here. These lesbians and sodomites, their souls will die, they will go to hell,” said one elderly Orthodox woman.
The protesters yelled homophobic insults, the Ekho Moskvy radio station reported.
Moscow’s mayor, Yuri Lezhlov, earlier this year refused to allow the Russian capital’s first gay parade because the proposed May 27 event had “evoked outrage in society, in particular, among religious leaders.”
Human rights groups criticized the decision as a violation of civil rights.
Police declined to comment on the nightclub incident.
But the leftist Radical Party, accused the police officers at the scene of failing to protect the clubbers from the protesters.
“If the police chiefs cannot force their subordinates, among whom there are significant numbers of homophobes, to obey orders, these chiefs should be fired,” the party said in a statement.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, May 5, 2006.