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Baltic Gay Pride March Likely Banned

Baltic Gay Pride March Likely Banned


A preliminary decision from a court in Lithuania appears likely to ban the March for Tolerance scheduled for this weekend in Vilnius as the centerpiece of Baltic Gay Pride.

According to UK Gay News, the Vilnius Country Administrative Court ordered Wednesday morning that permission for the march granted earlier this year by Mayor Vilius Navickas be suspended following requests from the interim attorney general Raimondas Petrauskas and city council member Stanislovas Buskevicius.

The suspension effectively bans the march.

"However, it should be noted that the decision of the court is to suspend the permission prior to full consideration," reports UK Gay News. "This means that there is no official court ban, but with the march just three days away, if the court decides in favour of Mr. Petrauskas, there is little time for any appeal."

March opponents have cited security concerns and traditional Lithuanian values as reasons not to hold the event on Saturday as planned.

Organizers may attempt to file an appeal in a higher court with the little time that remains.

The move to ban the march was denounced by the European Parliament's all-party Intergroup for Gay and Lesbian Rights, ILGA-Europe and Amnesty International. The groups noted that Lithuania is a party to European Union treaties that protect citizens' freedom of assembly.

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