Mayor of Lithuania’s capital city offers his support to previously banned Baltic Pride

Joseph McCormick June 17, 2016
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The Mayor of Vilnius in Lithuania has offered his support to the Baltic Pride parade, just years after the celebration was banned.

The third ever Baltic pride takes place tomorrow with a ‘March for Equality’.

In a statement far from previous attitudes to Pride, the city’s Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, has issued a message of love and support for those attending the festivities.

He says: “Dear participants of Baltic Pride, I welcome you to Vilnius.

“Diversity has always been the most important feature of the city. Everyone is welcome here, irrespective of sexuality, race, age, nationality and other features.

“Let’s celebrate human dignity!”” he says in a video posted on Facebook.

Watch the Mayor’s video below:

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.

The march only took place after the Supreme Court ruled twice that it should be held.

Municipal authorities had previously put the event in jeopardy by declaring it could not be held in the city centre, and failing to provide an alternative route for the parade.

Just three years ago, 28 people were arrested after protesters threw eggs at the 600 attendees of Baltic Pride in 2013.

Lithuanian lawmakers last year postponed a vote on a new anti-LGBT law that emulates Russia’s ban on ‘gay propaganda’.

The state’s Parliament had been due to vote on proposals that would introduce fines for any public display that “defies traditional family values”.

More: baltic pride, Europe, Lithuania, Lithuania

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