Living in shadow: Armenian homosexuals say they face scorn and harassment

Published: October 28, 2010

Constant clashes during the recent two months between the police and gay prostitutes (whose night meeting point is Children’s Park near the Yerevan Municipality) resulted in hot discussions over gays in Armenia, where homosexuality is hardly tolerated and still considered a moral disease.

During the recent few months press reports have circulated that Yerevan Mayor Gagik Beglaryan is out to “clean” the park from its reputation as a night-time cruising point for gay prostitution.

City Hall refused commenting on the issue, saying that “the municipality has much more important problems than gays to solve.”

Yerevan residents living near the park say that nighttime fights in the park are common. They say that transvestites and presumed gay men are often attacked and beaten.

“They disturb us, too – we cannot simply pass by that section at late hours. Nevertheless, they are people, and it is unacceptable to deal with them like that,” says Armen Saribekyan, 48, resident of Zakyan Street, bordering the park.

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