Lithuania: Court overturns ban on Baltic Pride
Campaigners have welcomed a decision to reverse this month’s ban on Baltic Pride in Lithuania.
Municipal authorities in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, previously declared that the event, planned for 27 July, could not be held in the city centre and failed to propose an alternative route.
But on Friday LGBT campaign group ILGA-Europe said the ban had been rejected in court.
In a statement ILGA-Europe said: “We congratulate the Lithuanian Gay League and Baltic LGBTI activists who have pressed on to ensure that their right to freedom of assembly is guaranteed. We also congratulate the Lithuanian justice system for taking such a decision and rejecting the discriminatory objections presented by the Vilnius City Council.”
It added: “Freedom of assembly is a basic human rights and it is a duty of the state to ensure this right is exercised by all citizens without any discrimination or legal and administrative impediments. Moreover, it is the duty of the state to protect minority groups should such discriminatory objections be filed.”
The first Pride parade in Lithuania took place in Vilnius in 2010 – although attempts were made by opponents to ban it with anti-LGBT legislation.
In May, the Lithuanian Parliament approved at first reading an amendment to the Code of Administrative Violations to impose fines for the “public denigration of constitutional moral values and of constitutional fundamentals of family life, as well as the organisation of public events contravening public morality”.