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Russian police detain 20 at gay rights rally

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOSCOW -- Police say 20 gay rights campaigners and militant Orthodox Christian activists have been detained near Russia's parliament during a protest against planned anti-gay legislation.

Russia's Parliament is to consider a federal law that makes public events and dissemination of information on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community to minors punishable by fines of up to $16,000.

Many, including Russia's dominant Orthodox church, have hailed the law saying it will boost Russia's dwindling birth rates.

Three dozen LGBT rights campaigners gathered Friday near the State Duma in Moscow to protest the law, while militant Orthodox activists started assaulting and pelting them with eggs. Police intervened, but mostly detained the LGBT campaigners.

Russia decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, but homophobia remains high in the country.

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