Gay rights activists held the country’s first gay pride rally on Saturday, marching in the capital city of Kiev. Police arrested 13 people for trying to break up the rally.
Around a hundred gay rights activists marched in Ukraine on Saturday despite fears of violence, marking the first gay pride event in the ex-Soviet country, where homophobia is widespread and socially accepted.
“This can be considered a historic day,” Elena Semyonova, a representative of the organisers, said after the event.
“We felt like we were full-fledged citizens whose rights are respected,” she told AFP.
The march went ahead despite strong public resistance.
City authorities had said they had received more than 500 complaints from members of the public ahead of the planned gay pride march, while more than 60 parliamentary lawmakers signed a letter calling for a blanket ban on all gay pride events in May and June.
A Ukrainian court on Thursday ruled that no events could be staged in the centre of Kiev on Saturday because of City Day celebrations so the march organisers had opted for a smaller gathering far from the city centre.
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