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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 9, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 02
Russian thugs storm Gay nightclub, four men injured
Section One
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Russian thugs storm Gay nightclub, four men injured

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A group of anti-Gay thugs stormed a Gay nightclub in Russia on January 3, injuring at least four club patrons, one of them seriously enough to require hospitalization.

The incident took place at the Fantom nightclub in the southwestern Russian city of Togliatti, named in honor of the late Italian Communist leader Palmiro Togliatti.

Russian media reported that at least one of the customers was hospitalized with serious injuries, with at least three more receiving medical care at the scene.

Police say they have no suspects. Information linking the incident to neo-Nazi or Russian nationalist groups has not yet emerged.

Konstantin Golava, a local Gay activist, demanded a full investigation of the crime leading to arrests.

'It is known that several of the attackers had previously been seen near the places, maybe they were planning an attack on the club,' he said.

'It is not surprising that this happened because the representatives of LGBTQ community and their friends in Russia are [being expelled] as 'defective' from all walks of life.'

Writing on LGBT Russia blog, Golava listed many teachers who have been fired for being Gay and charged that Russian authorities have little interest in protecting the LGBT community, a charge often made by LGBT activists.

Golava called on LGBT Russians to become politically active, saying that they can no longer hide out in supposedly safe neighborhoods and clubs.

'Gay men can create their own cozy ghetto in a club that seems to be safe. But they are wrong,' he said.

'There is nothing wrong with having fun and relaxing, but they must protect themselves, protect their rights and not to grumble that activists 'provoke' and [claim] 'our rights are not violated.'

'When Gay Russians think their rights are not being violated, even after attacks like this, then only more of this darkness will continue.'

On December 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the European Human Rights Council that 'The problem with the rights of Gays in Russia is a label put on Russia by other states.'

Putin claimed the United States, was far more homophobic than Russia, because '[Russia] has no criminal liability,' while 14 U.S. states still have laws banning Gay sex - although they are unenforceable under the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision.

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