By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com November 25 2013 2:45 PM ET
There was a gas attack on the Moscow gay nightclub Central Station, just a week after gunshots were fired at the club, continuing a series of attacks on the popular nightspot.
“Unknown malefactors sprayed some harmful gas inside the club” Saturday night, when about 500 people were present, website Queer Russia reports, in a translation from a Russian-language news source. Some patrons sought medical attention, while club staffers were able to clear the fumes within a few minutes by using a smoke removal machine.
Two men fired gunshots at Central Station November 16, but no one was injured. The gas attack “is the fourth provocation against the club arranged by unknown persons,” said general director Andrey Leschinsky, according to Queer Russia. “We believe that they are connected with the building owner.” The attackers are “trying to express their extremist views against [the] LGBT community,” he added.
Club management has filed a complaint with police. There has been a surge in violence against LGBT people and their gathering places since Russia’s adoption last summer of a nationwide ban on “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,” which effectively prohibits any positive discussion of LGBT issues or identities in venues accessible to minors.