Monday, June 13 2016 16:26 EEST
Kyiv held its first ever peaceful LGBT Pride march on June 12
Ukraine, Kiev, Kyiv, LGBTI, Pride, march, human rights, tolerance, violence, events, police, gay, participants, arrests, riot, gender identity, peaceful

Kyiv held LGBT Pride march, with thousands of police protecting the few hundred marchers from threats of violence by roving groups of right-wing thugs.

According to Kyiv Post, the small march around central Kyiv, which went by largely peacefully, was seen as a success by many in Ukriane, given the history of violence at previous such events.

A heavy police presence around the starting point of the march at Taras Shevchenko Park in central Kyiv, which included screening participants with metal detectors, ensured the event went peacefully.

There were several arrests nearby the starting point, and police said 50 people in all were arrested during the event, according to Ukrainian media.

After the march, participants were bused away from the area or escorted onto special empty trains in the metro, accompanied by riot police as protection.

After the march, reporters said several groups of young men could be seen roving around the center of the city, shouting homophobic slogans.

Several anti-gay protesters made it into the event starting point. One group engaged one of the organizers of the event in debate, but did not cause any trouble.

Lesbian, gay, bisexuals, and transgender persons in Ukraine may experience different social attitudes and public policies than heterosexual persons or persons who have a more conventional gender identity.

Noncommercial, same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults in private is legal in Ukraine, but prevailing social attitudes are often described as being intolerant of LGBT people and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for any of the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.

In a 2010 European study, 28% of Ukrainians polled believed that LGBT individuals should live freely and however they like.

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