Vilnius authorities appeal against LGBT march location ruling

25/04/2013
Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from 15 min: http://www.15min.lt/en/article/in-lithuania/vilnius-authorities-appeal-against-lgbt-march-location-ruling-525-329322

Vilnius City Municipality has appealed against a court ruling ordering the municipality to reconsider its decision on the location of an LGBT march.

Vilnius authorities said in the appeal submitted to the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania on Wednesday that it had the right to propose a location for the event other than demanded by the organizers.

"The law does not give the organizer the right to choose the location for a gathering unconditionally," the municipality said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Vilnius Regional Administrative Court ordered Vilnius Municipality to reconsider a request by the Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) to hold a march in central Gedimino Avenue.

The municipality had proposed holding the march in less central Upės Street. The LGL then turned to court, saying the proposed site was inadequate for the purpose of the event.

The march, part of the Baltic Pride, is planned for late July.

Path to equal opportunities

The path to equal opportunities is becoming longer, Vladimir Simonko, leader of Lithuanian Gay League, said in comment on Vilnius City Municipality's decision to appeal against a court ruling ordering to reconsider its decision on an LGBT march venue.

"I can say that the path to equal opportunities for everyone in the city of Vilnius is becoming longer. I thought that we had gotten a little closer to the standards of European values in this city but it seems that I was wrong. I believe it was a strong signal from the court which ordered to continue the dialogue on the march, but it seems that that path was unacceptable for the other side, and that's regrettable. (...) We need to be patient and take this path. I still hope and believe that justice is possible in Lithuania," Simonko told BNS on Wednesday.


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