Scroll To Top
World

Latvian capital
outlaws gay pride parade, citing security concerns

Latvian capital
outlaws gay pride parade, citing security concerns

Latvian_pride

The Latvian capital of Riga on Wednesday became the latest Eastern European city to scuttle plans for a gay pride parade when it refused organizers' request to stage the event this weekend.

The Latvian capital of Riga on Wednesday became the latest Eastern European city to scuttle plans for a gay pride parade when it refused organizers' request to stage the event this weekend. The city council claimed it could not ensure the safety of participants in the parade, the Associated Press reports. "The city council met and decided not to allow the gay pride parade to take place because of security concerns," Sandra Grinberga, a city council spokesperson, said in a statement, according to the AP. Organizers of the march planned to appeal the decision with the Riga administrative court, which last year reversed a similar decision by the city council and allowed Riga's inaugural gay pride parade to take place despite municipal concerns. "We think this is a huge blow for democracy in Latvia," Katrina Schwartz, a spokesperson for the pride organizers, told the AP. "The city council is caving in to extremists, and this sets a very bad precedent." She added that if the city cannot guarantee the safety of marchers in the parade, then its ability to provide security at a NATO summit of world leaders in Riga later this year must be questioned. "If the city council is being sincere and stating that they literally cannot guarantee security for this event, then I think that absolutely the Latvian government and NATO have to be reconsidering the country's preparedness to host the NATO summit," Schwartz said. Last year some 30 gay rights supporters marched through the city's Old Town center in front of thousands of onlookers, many of whom shouted insults or displayed antigay signs; some even hurled debris at the marchers. This year's parade has already been protested by demonstrators who have assembled outside the city hall as well by some of Latvia's religious leaders. Among the 500 marchers expected this year, should the parade take place, are dignitaries from Sweden and Denmark. (The Advocate)

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff