Police officers detain gay rights activists as they gathered near the State Duma, Russia's lower parliament chamber, in Moscow, Russia, on June 11, 2013. (AP Photo)
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - A gay rights rally in St. Petersburg has ended in scuffles after several dozen protesters were confronted by about 200 conservative and religious activists.
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The police standing nearby waited until clashes broke out between the two groups before intervening. According to Russian news agencies, the police detained 67 people from both sides.
The scuffles started after anti-gay protesters tore a rainbow flag out of a woman's hands.
The St. Petersburg city government had sanctioned the rally despite the Russian government's June passage of a contentious law outlawing gay "propaganda." Gays in Russia have faced increasing pressure and threats of violencefrom homophobic vigilantes.
St. Petersburg police could not immediately be reached for comment.