MORE THAT 1,000 members of the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer community in London gathered in Whitehall last Saturday to protest at new anti-gay laws being introduced by the Putin government in Moscow.
Many are calling for a boycott of the winter Olympics as such discrimination falls foul of the Olympic Charter.
Recent attacks on gay teens in Russia have caused international disgust and condemnation. The London protest was one of many around the world.
The protesters were calling on Prime Minister David Cameron and the Foreign Office to put pressure on the Russian Government to repeal these laws.
"Putin is the 'Czar of Homophobia'," veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell wrote on his website ahead of the protests.
"His regime has outlawed the public expression of LGBT identity and affection – and prohibited the advocacy of LGBT human rights – in circumstances where a person under 18 might see it."
Clutching banners bearing slogans such as "Love Russia. Hate Homophobia" and rainbow flags, protesters called for a change in the policy that has attracted criticism from world leaders.
Critics of the anti-propaganda law have said it effectively disallows all gay rights rallies and could be used to prosecute anyone voicing support for homosexuals.
On Friday, Olympic president Jacques Rogge asked Russia to explain how the country will implement the law in detail ahead of next year's Sochi Winter Olympics.