Protestors clash with police at Romania Gay Pride Parade

Anthony Cuesta | June 11, 2007

Romania’s gay pride celebration was marred Saturday as police used tear gas against protesters who hurled stones at marchers in the capital city Bucharest, officials said.

According to the Associated Press, about 100 people were detained for throwing stones and fireworks at police and about 400 participants in the gay rights march, said Christian Ciocan, a police spokesman. Police responded with tear gas. Nobody was injured, he said.

“We regret that our opponents use violence ... Police only did their job to protect an authorized march,” said Florin Buhuceanu, one of the organizers of the gay rights march, to the AP. “It is our right to express our beliefs and we will not renounce in the face of violence.'

DPA reports that the attackers were not identified as part of any organized group, though authorities suspect connections to a right-wing religious association Noua Dreapta, or the New Right, which rallied Saturday morning against the gay-rights march later in the day.

The march was organized by Accept, a Romanian gay-rights advocacy group.

DPA also reports that the Romanian Orthodox Church planned special Saturday evening masses nationwide to pray against what it believes are "sins" being promoted by the gay-rights rally. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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