Violent Confrontations Mar an International Day for LGBT Awareness

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 18 2012 10:57 AM ET

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After an IDAHO protest rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, activists were escorted back to their buses by police. But they drove only a few blocks before being stopped by groups of young men dressed in neo-Nazi insignia, some with face masks and many with shaved skin-head hairstyles. They attacked the buses, broke through the windows and assaulted the activists inside.

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Neo-Nazis in St. Petersburg, Russia attacked a bus that they believed was full of gay activists.

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A St. Petersburg gay rights activist is tended to after the attack.

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Contrasting sharply with the St. Petersburg violence, IDAHO activists release balloons in a park in central Moscow.

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Tensions mount as Christian activists led by Orthodox priests halted a rare attempt to stage a small pride march in ex-Soviet Georgia, attacking participants and smashing their placards.

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Protest art is displayed at the rally in Tbilisi, Georgia.

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Orthodox priests argue with activists during a rally in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. The poster reads: "My body belongs just to me."

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At the rally in Tbilisi, violence errupts as police officers detain one of the LGBT rights activists.

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Cubans members of the LGBT community take part in a march during the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Cienfuegos.

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Taking a stand in Cienfuegos, Cuba on the International Day Against Homophobia.

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A couple kisses during a demonstration held at Plaza de Armas square in Asuncion, Paraguay, on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

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Multiple couples kissed during the demonstration in Asuncion, Paraguay.

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Transgender women kiss a doll representing Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in front of Planalto Palace during a demonstration that was part of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Brasilia, Brazil.