Lithuanian court un-bans gay pride parade, homophobes attack

by Rex Wockner

International News Briefs

Lithuania's Supreme Administrative Court overruled the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court on May 7 and un-banned the following day's Baltic Pride march, which was then targeted by more than 1,000 anti-gay protesters.

The court said European Union law obligates the nation to protect the rights to free expression and assembly.

"Lithuania was the last EU member state whose authorities were trying to prevent LGBTI people from their constitutional right to peaceful assembly," said ILGA-Europe, the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. "This (is) a triumph of the rule of law and democratic values."

The May 8 march featured 500 marchers, 800 police officers protecting them, and more than 1,000 anti-gay protesters trying to hurt them.

The anti-gays threw rocks, bottles, fireworks and other items, but failed to breach the police cordon. Police used tear gas to keep the homophobes at bay.

More than a dozen people were detained.

Marchers included several members of the European Parliament, foreign ambassadors, and Swedish Minister for European Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson, who said: "Today we are marching for Europe. ... We would never accept homophobia taking over our streets."

The lower court had banned the march on May 5 at the request of interim Prosecutor General Raimondas Petrauskas, agreeing with him that the authorities could not protect marchers from radical anti-gay protesters.

"This parade is like a red rag for a bull," Petrauskas said.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite had expressed shock at that ruling.

"The president is astounded ... that the police claim they are ready to ensure safety, but the acting prosecutor general sees a threat," her spokesman told Baltic News Service. "The constitution guarantees the right to peaceful assembly."

The Baltic Pride march was part of five days of events for LGBT people from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

A recent Eurobarometer poll found that 93 percent of Lithuanians say they don't know anyone gay, and another poll in March found that 73 percent of Lithuanians don't want gays to hold parades.

MI Marriage Trial

Michigan Same Sex Couples Demand Respect And Equal Treatment

Michigan Leaders React To Feds Recognition Of Marriages

MI Marriage: Schuette Asks For Full Appeals Court Review

The Stay Delayed Allows 315 Couples To Wed In State

Gay Marriage Defines Schuette's Reelection Campaign

Snyder Says Schuette Going Against Trend

Sixth Circuit Continues Stay

Michigan Marriage Ban Struck Down

Michigan Makes History With First Marriages

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Aappeal

Pictures from Ingham County - Getting Married

Pictures from Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 1

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's office - Part 2

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 3

Pictures from Washtenaw County

White Nationalist Group Files Brief Supporting AG's Appeal In Marriage Ruling

Discredited Witness Part Of Right-Wing Cabal

Schauer Celebrates Overturn Of Michigan Marriage Ban

Equality Michigan Circulating Petition to Drop Appeal

Why Are Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette Wasting Michigan Taxpayer Dollars On A Costly Appeal?

Michigan Marriage Ban Co-Author Goes 'Moral'

BTL's Wedding Expo: Like Pride in April

Snyder Says Marriages Invalid

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Appeal

Request To Remove Stay Based On Process And Substance

Schuette Lies To Satisfy Political Base

DOCUMENTS: The decision, the stay, and more

BREAKING: Holder Asked To Recognize Michigan Marriages

Michigan Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

BREAKING: Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals Issues Temporary Stay On Michigan Case

BREAKING: Same-Sex Couples Across Michigan Get Hitched

BREAKING: Judge Friedman Declares Michigan's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Judge Could Rule Late Today In Mich. Marriage Ban

Michigan Marriage Trial: And Now We Wait

Editor's Viewpoint: Our Long Journey To Justice

Federal Marriage Case Decisions Outside Michigan In Circuit Court of Appeals

Peers Distance Themselves As Regnerus Takes The Stand

Marriage Supporters, Protestors Brave Cold At Courthouse

Highlights From Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Hearing

Brown Says Schuette Instructed Clerks To Defy Court

Michigan Marriage Equality Trial Begins Second Week

Marriage Equality Trial Opens : Science v. Fear

Michigan Marriage Center Prepares State For The Possibility!

Michigan Marriage Case Begins

A Trial Full of Experts: Incredible and Not So Credible, In Hazel Park Case

like us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on google+