The participants in the first sanctioned gay rights protest in Russia were taunted and egged. The violent counter-protests in St. Petersburg on Saturday were lead by Orthodox Christians, reports Radio Free Europe. "Interfax reported that antigay demonstrators threw eggs and shouted insults at the gay rights demonstrators. The report said police arrested at least 10 people and that the march was broken up after 40 minutes due to violence."
The hateful anti-gay counter-protesters included "old ladies and skinheads, some of whom threw eggs and shouted insults," adds AFP. But despite the violent outcome, activists optimistically noted that "the fact that the demonstration was authorized" is a step forward, especially in St. Petersburg, where riot police violently dispersed an "unauthorized" LGBT rights protest in June.
Russian authorities have repeatedly banned gay protests and Pride demonstrations. In May 2009 in Moscow, dozens were arrested and many were injured when Moscow's riot police violently dispersed a gay rights march. Moscow's former mayor Yuri Luzhkov infamously described homosexuality as "satanic."