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Poland and Latvia host gay pride marches

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  1. Brilliant! This is good news. We need more events like this throughout Poland and the Balkans. The greater the show of united effort and solidarity by LGBT Communities in Eastern Europe, the more muscle we have in exerting effective and efficient pressure on Roman Catholic controlled governments for full LGBT Rights. Politics and religion must never be mixed. The Roman Catholic Church has its place in society as a business like any other, and must never be allowed to interfere in politics or influence the population in political matters in any way at all. More education and information must be forthcoming to teach Eastern European countries about the LGT Community.

    1. 1) Latvia is a BALTIC state *not* a BalKAN state…Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania; Balkan states: Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia i Hercegovina, FYROM Macedonia Kosovo etc

      2) Muscle is what homophobians use to beat us into submission…are we really going to apply the same bully-boy tactics…I hope not.

      3) Catholic Church applies to Poland, Lithuania (Baltics) and Croatia (Balkans) but not to the others where it is primarily the Orthodox Church that is the dominant religious presence.

  2. Gotta love a bit of progress. I have to say I was disappointed when I looked up gay rights in other countries and Poland and Latvia were among those who were far behind on this journey. However, this is definitely a good sign that they are quickening their pace to catch up with us. Let’s hope they lose the laws that are slowing them down!

    1. Why wouldn’t they (Poland and Latvia and other former Soviet countries) be behind in this journey? They have only had the possibility of freedom of speech and association since 1989 so they started the conversation about “homosexuality” later… and in fact there is an argument to say that say Poland and Slovakia are moving far more quickly in the public dialogue than was ever true in the UK.

    2. and that is quite apart from all the other debates they have had to have about de-constructing the Soviet legacy and taking on a market economy and recovering socially and economically from half a century’s foreign occupation. I am not clear that the UK would have coped so well.

      1. Ok….

  3. Just a quick reminder of history:
    “Although several of the former-Soviet countries joined the EU in 2004…”
    Although Poland was part of the Eastern bloc, it was not “Soviet”. The former-Soviet countries that joined are the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which were annexed by the USSR.

    In Poland it was never illegal to be gay, except during foreign occupations. Sadly when other countries overtook Poland in terms of gay rights, it didn’t move with them.

    1. Point 1: hmmm your comment about Poland *not* being “Soviet” would be stronger if you had used “illegally annexed” ….ie “former-Soviet countries that joined are the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which were ILLEGALLY annexed by the USSR. Legally Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania were *never* part of the Soviet Union but were de facto by illegal occupation.

      Point 2: it is true to say that Poland was not part of the illegally constructed Soviet Union but the regime from 1944-89 was a Soviet regime so it is accurate to say that it is a former Soviet county….

      it is as true for Poland as it is for Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania… it was all a Stalinist construction… under the same Soviet occupation, that was just as hated by the population in all these countries….and unravelled at about the same time and for the same reasons.

      This distinction is to buy into Soviet propaganda which reinforced a murderous occupation/regime of 4 decades.

      1. I would say the standard historical use of Soviet in English refers only to members of the USSR. Of course Poland and East Germany etc were under Russian control but they had their own national governments and were separate sovereign states and members of the UN, whereas the Balkan states were governed as part of the USSR.

        People in the UK tend to be pretty unaware of the history of anywhere east of Germany and equate the terms soviet and communist.

        It’s not buying into Soviet propaganda to make a factual distinction. The Baltic states were governed as part of the USSR whatever the legal situation was.

        1. spot on

        2. Baltic states, not Balkan!

          1. Whoops!

  4. As someone on the parade in Warsaw and who viewed the parade itself from the top of a float (double deck height). I’d say the estimate of 2,500 was somewhat under-estimated. Id say at least 3,000. Also the policing was absolutely superb…hats off to the Warsaw Police who as usual kept us safe and did Poland PROUD!

    1. about 5k people took part in warsaw pride, inc. british ambasador and local katie price wannabe. there were also other 3 anti gay marches but police did a good job to keep them apart

  5. Pft Latvia? I am from Latvia , haven’t been there since i was 16 , that 5 years and i wont go back , Latvian beliefs are still in 15th century. Latvia is a bad bad bad place, hope they gay pride goes alright.

    1. Things change, take this years pride for example – there were only about 20 protesters (mostly pensioners, some quite comical and quite nuts, not to be taken seriously by anyone) yet there were 300 people who took part in pride, even one of the ministers in the current parliament (Artis Pabriks). There was also a social campaign in the media (youtube – watch?v=zcv8eCdn_MY) with mostly positive reception. Things change, the situation and public opinion is most definitely much better than it was 5 years ago

      1. Just to fix a little factual error I myself made, the minister who took part in the pride was the minister of Foreign Affairs – Edgars Rinkevičs, not Artis Pabriks (Defense minister) who in any case was also vocal in support of pride and LGBT rights in the media but wasn’t able to attend the pride event due to other obligations.

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