On Thursday, two dozen masked men stormed a popular gay bar in Moscow and beat patrons, injuring 10 and sending four to the hospital. The attack happened during a “Coming Out Day” party, and the attackers mostly targeted women. Three women and one man were hospitalized.
The New York Times reports that Nikolai Alekseyev, the founder of the gay pride movement in Moscow, said that this attack indicates that anti-gay groups are ‘becoming increasingly aggressive.’ He said, “they believe that they won’t be caught and won’t be punished for this.”
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993; however, the attack coincides with a year full of new anti-gay legislation. This year, three cities have passed laws criminalizing ‘homosexual propaganda,’ and the Russian Orthodox Church has endorsed that legislation at the national level. A measure banning gay pride parades in Moscow for a century, until 2112, was upheld by the highest court in August.
Media Resources: NY Times 10/12/12; Huffington Post 10/12/12; Jezebel 10/14/12l