Baltic Pride to go ahead after court lifts council ban

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Baltic Pride has been saved after Riga’s Administrative Court lifted a ban imposed by the city council on tomorrow’s Pride march.

Thirty four of the 60 city council members had written to executive director Andris Grinbergs, demanding permission for the parade to be withdrawn on the grounds that it was offensive to public decency and posed a threat to public security.

A representative of the city council appeared at the Administrative Court this morning and could not provide clear reasons why the march had been cancelled. The court then lifted the ban.

The court hearing was attended by the representatives of No Pride movement, Roman Catholic Church in Latvia and a religious sect New Generation.

All three asked the Court to participate in the hearing as interested parties. However, their requests were denied.

The march has been organised by Latvian organisation Mozaika, the Lithuanian Gay League and Estonian Gay Youth, who expect around 700 people to take part.

In a statement issued immediately following the court hearing, LGBT group ILGA-Europe said it was “delighted” at the outcome.

“[We] congratulate the Latvian judicial system for yet another instance of defending the fundamental human rights in the country,”, spokesperson Juris Lavrikovs said.