Coppers Keep Queer Contesters Contained

Latvians March Proudly

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Approximately 400 avowed homosexual and their allies took to Riga, Latvia’s post-socialist streets for their second annual gay pride event this week. Latvia’s got a history of homo-hatred – officials barred pride last year – and police weren’t taking any chances with this year’s fag festivities.

Dozens of extra officers and reinforced security fences kept the queers safe from the estimated 100 protesters who shook their fists at the proud gay display. Though things went off without a hitch, some knuckleheads threw a paint bomb and firecrackers at the flamers. While the anti-gay activists may hope their efforts will deter the dick lickers, gay activists hope this weekend’s actions will help move Latvia in the right direction.

Meanwhile, another set of anti-gay activists spent their energies organizing The World Against Homosexuality across town, where about 1,000 railed against the gay rally. Sure, it may be more than the gay priders, but it’s hardly the 50,000 organizers anticipated. That’s a step in the right direction…

Gay rights groups protest in Riga [BBC News]
Gays hold heavily policed ‘pride’ event in Latvia [France 24]
If you guys are at all interested in the many social forces influencing Latvia’s homophobes, click here for a bit of an analysis.
Amnesty International also has a great Riga round-up, while UK Gay News offers a four-page photo gallery.