2006-05-29 16:01:00

Russia insufficiently tolerant of gays, lesbians - campaigner

Moscow, May 29, Interfax - The Russian public is insufficiently tolerant of gays and lesbians, Moscow Human Rights Bureau Director Alexander Brod told Interfax on Monday.

The bureau is monitoring xenophobia in Russia with European Union support.

"Research shows that about one-third of Russians feel negatively toward those with non-traditional sexual orientations. This is a sign of high intolerance," he said.

"We see that Russia is still far from being tolerant. This is deplorable and incompatible with the principles of a civilized state," he said.

Bearing in mind public feelings, the action in Moscow on Saturday should not have been held, Brod said.

Unauthorized actions by supporters and opponents of a gay pride parade were held in downtown Moscow on Saturday. Over 100 people were detained.