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Protest Against Russian Antigay Bill Turns Violent

A gay rights activist stands in front of the State Duma after being punched during a protest in Moscow on January 22.
Supporters of a controversial Russian bill banning "homosexual propaganda" have clashed with gay activists outside Russia's parliament.

A dozen gay rights activists had gathered in Moscow to protest the bill by kissing each other.

A group of young men attacked the activists, taking away and tearing up their posters and shouting obscenities at them.

Unknown assailants attack a gay rights activist.
Unknown assailants attack a gay rights activist.
The State Duma is to consider a federal bill that makes the dissemination of information about Russia's gay community to minors punishable by fines of up to $16,000.

Several Russian cities including St. Petersburg already have adopted such laws.

Lawmakers, government officials, and Russia's Orthodox Church have supported the bill, saying homosexuality clashes with traditional Russian values.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia 20 years ago but homophobia remains strong in Russian society.

Based on reporting by AP and ITAR-TASS