Lithuanian Prime Minister believes LGBT pride in Vilnius was given too much prominence
Commenting on the LGBT pride parade that took place in Vilnius on Saturday, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius says the event was given too much prominence thanks to attempts by anti-LGBT opponents to draw attention to themselves.
"We have stated our position in a clear manner – rallies should not be prohibited in a legal democracy, and I think this got too much attention here in Lithuania and it was overstated due to the self-promotion attempts of certain forces and their efforts to demonstrate a different attitude just to get attention," the prime minister said in an interview to Laisvoji Banga radio on Monday.
Held for the second time in the Lithuanian capital, the Baltic Pride March for Equality drew controversial reactions. The participants marched on Gedimino Avenue under heavy presence of the police, while 28 individuals were detained for hooliganism. Among the detainees were MP Petras Gražulis and former mayor of Kaunas Vytautas Šustauskas, former MP and leader of the Union of Fighters for Lithuania.
This year's event was the first LGBT march sanctioned to take place on the central street of Vilnius, even though it took a court ruling to force the municipal authorities to issue a permit. Vilnius municipality initially refused to sanction the venue, however, the court revoked the conclusion.
The first Baltic Pride parade took place on more remote Upės Street in 2010.