Gay rights activists in Cyprus protest Russia law

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — About a dozen gay rights supporters carried placards and chanted slogans outside the Russian Embassy in Cyprus’ capital to protest Moscow’s policies on homosexuality.

Organizers said the turnout for Tuesday’s demonstration may have been small, but it was significant because it was the first such open expression of support for gay rights in this conservative country in many years.

Costas Gavrielides, president of the 700 member-strong Accept LGBT Cyprus, said the message to Moscow is that gay rights groups must be free to be heard in that country. The main point of contention is a law adopted by Russia’s parliament in June making “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors” illegal.

Gavrielides said gay rights have made important strides in Cyprus in recent years.

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