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.

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  • Keith Kimmel

    Protecting minors. Haha! Thats a good one. Wanna save the kids? Outlaw religion!

  • Ind

    Excellent comment. Double that.

  • jamesjosephbrown

    Imbrasas’s decision was reversed and the march took place in May 2010. Lithuania is a small nation, but it has a unique place in the history of the world. It has a long tradition of fighting fiercely for its freedom. It was the first unwilling Soviet republic to stand up to Russian troops and cause the chain reaction that led to the break up of the Soviet Union twenty years ago. Hopefully Lithuania will harness this same courage and determination and help lead the way in the effort to promote equal human rights for all. All people of the world have the right to fair, just, and unequivocably equal treatment. The inherent value Lithuanians place on independence ought to encourage them to join this movement and help lead the way. Lithuanian leaders who fail to recognize the wisdom of this plan ought to step down and allow more enlightened ones emerge for the good of all its citizens.

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