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Gay-Rights March Held In Moldovan Capital

CHISINAU -- An estimated 100 people took part in a gay-rights march in central Chisinau on May 17.

The officially sanctioned march by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights activists was also met by an estimated 100 people protesting gay rights.

Orthodox groups were among the organizers of the counterprotest, whose participants jeered the marchers.

A heavy police presence prevented the protesters from disrupting the march, which was also attended by supporters from Russia and Belarus as well as the Swedish and American ambassadors in Chisinau.

Several of the protesters were detained.

The march was only the third time that a gay-rights parade was successfully held in Moldova.

Other attempts were either banned by authorities or broken up by demonstrators.

The march was part of a weeklong "Rainbow Over the Dniester" LGBT festival that will include several other events.