to the streets

Moscow’s Mayor Will Never Permit a Gay Pride Parade. But Do Lithuanians Have More Hope?

Whereas Moscow’s proud bigot Mayor Yury Luzhkov once again banned a gay pride parade in the city (calling it a “satanic act” and calling homosexuality a “social plague”), some hopeful Europeans some 500 miles to the west, having declared their independence from the Soviets just 20 years ago, are looking to stage their own pride parade.

Not that Lithuania’s stab is much more likely.

Vladimir Simonko, of Lithuania’s activist group Gay League, has asked Vilnius mayor Vilius Navickas for a permit for the parade, which is an annual pan-Baltic event; it is Lithuania’s turn to host neighbors Estonia and Latvia. That puts Navickas in quite a spot — his predecessor Juozas Imbrasas denied a permit last time because of, uh, safety concerns. Imbrasas was promptly bitched at by gay rights groups, but the effect wasn’t long lasting: the country of 3.3 million last year banned gay “propaganda” to, supposedly, protect minors.