In Ukraine, Kiev’s gay pride parade has been a divisive social and political issue that has split the country. Some say Kiev’s gay pride parade should never have been allowed to occur at all, and when the estimated 150 to 300 people involved in the LGBT parade started marching on Saturday the response was physical violence.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Pope Francis was compared to Walter White of Breaking Bad for his position on gay marriage by a HBO host.
Before Kiev’s gay pride parade occurred, members of the Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) nationalist organization threatened to disrupt the march if it ever took place. The group’s leader, Dmytro Yarosh, compared the fight over homosexuality against the battle being waged against pro-Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine.
“The Ukrainian public is having the ideology of sexual perversion and the destruction of the family foisted on them,” he wrote in a post on Facebook this week. “We have enough issues, however circumstances force us to turn our attention to that evil as well.”
City mayor Vitaly Klitschko advised that Kiev’s gay pride parade be canceled due to these threats, but Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that he supported the right for LGBT groups to demonstrate publicly although he himself would not participate in the parade.
“I will not be taking part,” he said, according to AFP. “But I see no grounds for someone to try and disturb it, since this is the constitutional right of every Ukrainian citizen.”
Kiev’s gay pride parade was protected by police armored in riot gear, but even then there were injuries. The attackers threw stones, smoke bombs, and flares at the people marching with rainbow banners, and at least two police men were wounded according to Reuters. One of the firecrackers was an IED which sent nails flying into the neck of one policeman.
Tanya Mazur, a local Ukrainian who watched Kiev’s gay pride parade, told the Daily Beast what he saw.
“The Marsh Rivnosti or March of Equality was immediately attacked by people in masks. The police were very professional and protected the march but unfortunately one policeman is in critical condition and undergoing surgery at the hospital,” he said. “Once the early attackers were detained the march was peaceful, until the end when there was some disorganization and far rights attacked and about 10 LGBT people were mildly injured. But the march was a success, much larger than the first one two years ago when about 50 people were present.”
Parliament member Serhiy Leshchenko said around 25 to 30 “hooligans” were arrested for these assaults, although the police managed to prevent any direct clashes between supporters of the gay pride parade and the attackers.
— Maxim Eristavi (@MaximEristavi) June 6, 2015
[Image via Facebook/The Daily Beast]