Court will announce its ruling on Baltic Pride on 11 April
Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) has appealed against Vilnius municipal authorities’ decision to ban a gay march through the Lithuanian capital’s central Gediminas Avenue. LGL is of a position that this decision runs counter to the goal of the March for Equality, i.e. to attract attention of the state and the general public to the local LGBT* community and its social integration. Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, i.e. the first instance, will deliver its judgment on 11 April 2013.
The administration of Vilnius City Municipality claims that the March for Equality was relocated to the Upės Street due to the information that “a threat to the public security might arise during the March”.
In response to the complaint made by LGL, the Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior, which takes part in the proceedings as the third party, has expressed its view on the matter to the court, disagreeing with LGL on the location of the parade. The Police Department's arguments are based mainly on concern for public order and safety. The Police Department stated that the Applicant (LGL) has not submitted any objective arguments stating why the goals of the parade (i.e. promoting and raising awareness of LGBT rights) would not be achieved if the parade was held in a location other than Gedimino Avenue. The Police Department stated that “the wish of the Applicant to exercise his rights only according to his will, ignoring the interests of the society and the state, are an indication not about the aim of achieving the set goals for the Parade, but more about the striving to promote the event through disputes thereto,” showing a blatant lack of understanding of both the objective of the parade and the principle of freedom of assembly.
The first Baltic Pride 2010 March for Equality also took place in Upės Street. The location was cordoned off and protected as around several hundred people gathered to protest against the March.