Just what is it about some people that they get all upset and violent about how other human beings find love? I cannot understand it, and never have. According to Moscow mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, a planned Pride parade was "satanic". It was accordingly banned by the authorities, who nevertheless allowed an anti-pride parade to take place. Some LGBT activists including, Peter Tatchell from the UK, gathered to protest the ban and were dragged away by police.
Better news from Riga, Latvia, where the first Baltic Pride parade went ahead after world wide protests persuaded the authorities to cancel an earlier ban. A couple of friends who travelled from Budapest foe this event have emailed saying that, despite the presence of anti-gay protesters, they had a wonderful time.
I am reminded of last year's Pride parade in Budapest, in which we walked between two lines of riot-suited police on roads and were subjected to violent abuse and pelted with eggs and tomatoes from some very angry protesters - and there were also others engaged in violent clashes with the police elsewhere in the city as they tried to prevent the parade from reaching its agreed destination. It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life - not so much the actual violence as the sheer hatred that was evident. I was in little doubt that, were it not for the protection by the police, very serious violence - up to and including murder - would have ensued.
I cannot understand, and have tried, what motivates such hatred. I can theorise and speak of repression etc but cannot say that anything has been persuasive. My main emotion now, away from immediate danger, is a deep sadness at what I can only see as the emptiness of the lives of those who feel threatened by difference. They are deeply wounded and insecure. That does not, however, make them any less dangerous.