MOSCOW -- Moscow police have arrested more than 30 people in a pair of attempts by activists to hold unauthorized gay rights demonstrations in the capital.
Opponents of gay rights scuffled with the demonstrators and with police in the Saturday actions. A police spokesman, Maxim Kolosvetov, told Russian news agencies that 18 gay activists and 14 opponents were arrested.
Moscow authorities routinely ban gay rights demonstrations. Although homosexuality was decriminalized in post-Soviet Russia, anti-gay sentiment is high and authorities justify the bans on the grounds of trying to prevent fights.
Activists tried to hold a demonstration at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin and later outside the mayor's office.