A court in the second largest city in Moldova has struck down a local ban on what authorities had referred to as “homosexual propaganda”.

The Balti Court of Appeals gave its verdict on the case on 28 February, which was that the ban approved last year by the city council was unconstitutional. It also ruled that the ban violated human rights, reports RFERL.

The court also went on to criticise another decision which proclaimed that Balti was “a zone of enhanced support for the Orthodox Church.”

Both bans were issued following church-led protests after Moldova adopted the EU-backed anti discrimination bill, which offered some protection against LGBT people.

Some have likened the Moldova ban on a law in the Russian city of St Petersburg, which equates homosexuality with “paedophilia” and was passed by the city on February 29 of last year – despite more than 270,000 people signing an online petition against the measure.

In January, the Russian State Duma adopted the first reading of a homophobic censorship bill which would impose federal sanctions for the promotion of “gay propaganda”, similar to those passed in several regions of Russia, including St Petersburg. 

Back in December in Moldova, an anti-discrimination law, which could mean that crimes against LGBT people would be punishable by fines, or prison, passed the second stage of parliament.

The law, which would protect minorities, including LGBT people, against discrimination in the workplace, could mean fines of 9,000 Moldovan lei (£464).