Arrests in Russian protests against ‘gay propaganda’ law

Russian police broke up two small gay-rights rallies in St. Petersburg on Saturday (July 7) and arrested organizers who were protesting against this year’s city law against “gay propaganda,” the Associated Press reported.

Three protest organizers at one rally and five people at a second rally were arrested, AP said, citing Russian news agencies.

Nikolai Alexeyev (Photo via WikiMedia Commons)
Nikolai Alexeyev (Photo via WikiMedia Commons)

Gay-rights activist Nikolai Alekseev cited slightly different numbers of arrests. He noted:

“6 activists arrested at today’s gay pride in St. Petersburg. 2 organizers Yury Gavrikov and Maria Yefremenkova released by court and 4 others are still at police and will stay overnight. They are today’s heros!”

In February, St. Petersburg passed the law imposing fines of up to about $15,000 for spreading “homosexual propaganda” that could influence minors. Pride parades and protests against the anti-propaganda law can be considered violations of that law.

Plans for gay-pride parades have also been blocked in Moscow.  Activists say they will appeal for help from the European Court of Justice.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him at

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