Police investigate ‘suspicious’ death of prominent LGBT activist
The death of a British writer and LGBT activist in Romania is being treated as suspicious.
The body of David St Vincent was discovered by his landlady in his Bucharest apartment last month.
St Vincent suffered from a series of health problems – including epilepsy, blood pressure problems and labyrinthitis – leading authorities to initially rule the the travel writer died natural causes.
However, officers investigating the case have now passed it on to the prosecutor’s office.
St Vincent first moved to Romania in 1994 to write a travel guide.
He was a founding member of the Bucharest Acceptance Group – later renamed Accept – which was instrumental in the decriminalisation of gay sex in Romania in 2001.
St Vincent’s friends paid tribute to an “extremely generous, larger-than-life character” whom they described as “a British eccentric in the best possible way”, and their “PG Wodehouse of the internet”.
Florin Radu of Accept – which organised the country’s first Pride parade in 2005 – said they would hold a memorial next week.
“We are very sad, but very grateful to David for what he did for gay rights,” he told The Independent.
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“He was a very funny, very kind man who loved Romania.”
Last month, the Romanian Orthodox Church announced plans to block initiatives to legalise same-sex marriage.
The Church said it supports moves to alter the country’s constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Romania currently does not recognise marriages between same-sex couples.
More than 85 percent of Romanians are members of the church, which is incredibly influential in the country.