Moscow police raid gay nightclubs after ban on LGBTQ "extremism"

Police in Moscow are targeting gay nightclubs with raids after the Russian Supreme Court prohibited LGBTQ "extremism."

Club goers were briefly held and their passports were photographed during the raids late on Friday, Telegram channel Ostorozhno Novosti said. … "In the middle of the party, the music was stopped, and [police] began going into the lounges", one eyewitness told the outlet, adding that foreigners were also present at the gathering in central Moscow. Sota, another Telegram channel, said three clubs were raided on Friday evening in the Russian capital.

The implication is that authorities plan to use the law to shut down the venues, and push LGBTQ+ culture and individuals out of public life.

"If you speak at all about LGBT rights, whether you do it by protesting peacefully, or just posting comments on social media by saying anything in public, anything at all, you're going to be in trouble," says Tanya Lokshina, associate director for Human Rights Watch's Europe and Central Asia division.

The BBC reports that one Russian TV channel recently censored a rainbow in a k-pop video to avoid any suggestion they were promoting gay "propaganda."