Judge gives dissenting opinion in Lithuanian LGBT pride case

Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from 15 min: http://www.15min.lt/en/article/in-lithuania/judge-gives-dissenting-opinion-in-lithuanian-lgbt-pride-case-525-326206

One of the three judges who were hearing a complaint regarding the venue of the Baltic Pride march has given a dissenting opinion, disagreeing with the ruling to annul Vilnius administration's order to allow the LGBT community to hold the rally on Upės Street instead of the central Gedimino Avenue.

Deputy court chairman Donatas Vancevičius, the appointed chairman of the three-judge panel, described the Vilnius municipality's decision as legitimate and well-grounded. Dissenting opinion is a rare instance in Lithuanian courts.

Vilnius court's spokeswoman Sigita Jacinevičienė-Baltaduonė told BNS on Monday the judge thought the complaint filed by the Lithuanian Gay League should be rejected as ungrounded. In the judge's opinion, the municipality did the right thing to take into consideration the safety of the society and organizers of the event.

"The judge stated that holding the rally on Upės Street would not breach the freedom of assembly. The judge emphasized that the rally is not an advertisement campaign but a public manifestation of beliefs, therefore, selection of the venue is not significant," she said.

Last week, the court ruled that the Lithuanian capital city's administration should reconsider the application from the Lithuanian Gay League to hold a gay pride march on Gedimino Avenue in central Vilnius.

An appeal against the ruling can be filed within 14 days of pronouncement of the ruling.

The Baltic Pride march is scheduled to take place in Vilnius on July 27.

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