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Gay Activists Arrested At Unauthorized Moscow Protest


About a dozen gay rights activists -- along with Orthodox Christian activists who oppose homosexuality -- have been arrested during a gay pride parade in Moscow.

The unauthorized gay rights demonstration took place near the town hall in Moscow and was met by a massive police crackdown.

Among those reportedly arrested was Nikolai Alexeyev, the head of the Federation of Russian Homosexuals.

Although homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, gay marches are often banned by the authorities.

St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, also recently enacted a new law making homosexual "propaganda" an offense.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's United Russia party said the law was aimed at protecting children, despite objections from civil rights groups that the legislation hinders education about AIDS and its prevention.

PHOTO GALLERY: Gay pride rally broken up by police

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, and Interfax

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