Moldova has overturned its ban on gay “propaganda”, enacted in June, with a view to joining the EU next month.

Moldovan officials narrowly voted to overturn the law on Friday with a view to being offered an EU Association Agreement at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Lithuania this November.

In similar legislation to recently introduced Russian laws, the Moldovan ban made it illegal to promote “relationships other than those linked to marriage and the family”.

The decision to repeal the law was opposed by Moscow, as well as Orthodox Christians in Moldova.

“Today they are allowing this propaganda and tomorrow they will allow gay marriages,” one protester, Orthodox priest Ghenadie Valuta said.

A court in the second largest city in Moldova in March 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,