Responding to calls from gay rights advocates, the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen has urged the mayor of the Lithuanian capital city to support a gay pride event.

Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen, showed his support for gay rights by urging the Lithuanian mayor of Vilnius, Arturas Zuokas, to support Baltic Pride.

In the open letter, he pointed to the success of Copenhagen Pride, and the fact that it attracts tens of thousands of LGBT supporters each year.

The Danish mayor wrote the letter following a request from the Association of Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) asking him to advocate for Baltic Pride 2013.

LGL explained that the municipality had granted permission for the parade to go ahead, but had denied permission for participants to march through downtown Vilnius. They said the city had cited “security concerns”.

In the letter, Jensen urged Zuokas to allow the parade to pass through central Vilnius, in order to increase public visibility, and awareness of the event.

In the letter from Jensen, he wrote: “I perceive the [Copenhagen Pride] parade to be a valuable gift to the city, and a joyful celebration for all citizens regardless of sexual orientation,

“In Copenhagen we are proud to protect and promote freedom of expression among all minority groups,” he continued. “We believe that freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democracy.”

Copenhagen Pride takes place annually in August, and has attracted up to 50,000 supporters.