2011-10-24 10:00:00

Gay activists detained in Moscow for holding anti-American rally

Moscow, October 24, Interfax - Activists defending the rights of gays, lesbians and transsexuals were detained in Moscow on Saturday when they were holding an unauthorized protest rally near the Health Ministry building.

They were protesting American doctors' plans to enter gender dysphoria on the international list of diseases to be adopted in 2015, a source in law enforcement services told Interfax.

Gender dysphoria is a condition when a person has gender identity problems, which arouses the feeling of discomfort. This condition was not considered a pathology until recently, but the association of American psychiatrists proposed in 2009 that gender dysphoria be entered on the list of psychiatric disorders, which sparked protests throughout the world. Russian gays, lesbians and transsexuals joined them this year.

Gay activists applied for holding the protest rally in early October, but their application was rejected. "An action of this kind in public places with citizens' unrestricted access may incite a negative reaction, breach public peace and provoke violence against protestors," Moscow officials said.

The picketers gathered at the Health Ministry, however, and were immediately detained.

Charges of committing an administrative offence were brought against five of them. They will appear before a justice of the peace on October 29, who will pass a sentence on them.

The source did not say how many activists took part in the protest rally.