Swedish Minister for EU Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson to participate in Baltic Pride

Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from The Lithuania Tribune: http://en.delfi.lt/45848/swedish-minister-for-eu-affairs-birgitta-ohlsson-to-participate-in-baltic-pride-201345848/

On 26 – 27 July, 2013, EU Minister Birgitta Ohlsson will be in Vilnius and Riga, to attend this year’s Baltic Pride, the Press Secretary of the Minister has informed the Lithuania Tribune.

Birgitta Ohlsson will give a speech at the opening ceremony, take part in Saturday’s Pride Parade, meet with the Lithuanian Gay League and attend the Baltic Pride film festival.

Baltic Pride is organised annually in one of the three Baltic States. When Baltic Pride was last held in Vilnius in the spring of 2010, the parade was greeted by thousands of counter-demonstrators, including right-wing extremists.

“For me, it is extremely important to go back to Vilnius. I was there for the Baltic Pride festival in 2010 and again in 2007 to take part in a European LGBT conference. Pride Parades are a litmus test for freedom and democracy. It should be possible to arrange them in all part of the EU without threats, violence and harassment. Baltic Pride is a celebration of love and human rights,” says EU Minister Birgitta Ohlsson.

During the visit in Vilnius the EU minister will also meet with Lithuanian government ministers as Lithuania is the current holder of the EU Presidency.

She will also be visiting the European Institute for Gender Equality and the Family Planning and Sexual Health Association.

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