Violence at Lithuania's First Gay Pride Parade

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com May 08 2010 11:55 AM ET

A violent attack marred Lithuania's first gay pride parade Saturday, when about 400 people marched for equality in a sealed-off area of downtown Vilnius.

More than 1,000 protesters threw smoke bombs and tried to break through the barrier before being stopped by police firing tear gas, according to the Associated Press. Unable to pass the barrier, protesters then started throwing rocks and street signs at police. Two Lithuanian lawmakers were detained after trying to climb the barrier, and a Catholic mass was held at the nearby national cathedral to pray for the gays.

Eight hundred police officers were put on duty to secure the event. They detained 19 people.