Between increasingly strident homophobic rhetoric, violent hate crimes [GV], discriminatory firings [GV], and now the newly-passed federal law that makes “propaganda of homosexuality” illegal [ru] (being an administrative infraction, perpetrators of such “propaganda” will be fined, rather than criminally prosecuted), everyone can agree that it is a difficult time to be part of Russia’s LGBT community. In fact, these days supporting LGBT rights can earn you a trip to the hospital.
At least this is where Maria Baronova, a blogger and opposition activist, ended up after attending a protest against the “propaganda of homosexuality” law on June 11. Baronova, who recently made a splash on the RuNet [GV] by writing a rather naughty public letter criticizing Other Russia leader Eduard Limonov, is one of the defendants in the May 6 civil disorder case [en] and an old hand at participating in opposition rallies. This one in particular proved to be her downfall.
The protest, which took place in front of the Duma, the Russian house of parliament, turned violent from the start. Photo-blogger Ilya Varlamov, who documented the day’s events in a LiveJournal post [ru], tweeted [ru]:
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