MOSCOW -- Russian police say they have detained dozens of anti-gay protesters and gay rights activists during a gay pride rally in central Moscow.
Saturday's protest was one of the few gay rights events sanctioned by authorities. In recent years, several attempts to hold gay pride marches in Moscow and other Russian cities have been blocked by police, Russian Orthodox Church activists and soccer fans.
Moscow police spokesman Anatoly Lastovetsky said 40 people were detained Saturday.
He told The Associated Press that police were "finding out whether (the detained) were part of the rally or the people who tried to thwart it."
During the rally, several men were seen trying to pelt the protesters with tomatoes and unfurling posters with pejorative remarks about homosexuality.