Small victory for Pride event in Moldova

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Around 20 activists attempted to march for gay rights in the Moldovan capital Chisinau last week.

People threw eggs at the gay Pride marchers, and the police stopped them from laying flowers at the Monument to the Victims of Repression.

A government committee had banned the march on the grounds that it could pose a public disorder threat, that it would promote sexual propaganda and that it would undermine Moldovan Christian values.

The decision was despite the ruling of the Moldovan Supreme Court last December that a previous ban on the LGBT Pride march was illegal.

It was the third year in a row that Moldovan authorities have banned the gay Pride march in the capital.

“About 30 people took part in a counter-demonstration, mainly young people from an extremist organisation,” said Boris Balanetkii, the director of LGBT activist group GenderDoc-M.

Demonstrations in solidarity with the Moldovan LGBT Community’s struggle for equality were organized by LGBT activists in front of Moldovan Embassies in Stockholm, Vienna, Bucharest, Washington and New York.

“We would like to thank all the people in Moldova and other countries who went on the streets to show their support and solidarity with Moldova’s LGBT movement.

“Together we have achieved a first small victory in the struggle

of the LGBT community to achieve freedom of assembly in Moldova.

“Building on this year’s experience we will do our best to ensure that next year’s public demonstration by the LGBT community will take place not just as a protest action but as proper Pride Parade” – said Mr Balanetkii.

The gay protest only lasted 15 minutes. Several activists taped their mouths with rainbow tape to highlight the repression of free speech.

Pride events took place last week as part of the Council of Europe’s “All Different – All Equal” campaign and included cultural and entertainment activities.

GenderDoc-M have called on the EU to intervene on their behalf and pressure the Moldovan authorities to offer them the right to assembly and free speech.

Moldova is not part of the EU, but is influenced by its neighbour Romania, an EU member state since January 2007.

The small landlocked country of four million people gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.