Vilnius court orders to allow gay pride parade on Gediminas Avenue

Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from The Lithuania Tribune:

The Chief Administrative Court of Lithuania on Tuesday ordered Vilnius Municipality to allow a gay pride parade through the Lithuanian capital’s central Gediminas Avenue.

Rejecting an appeal by Vilnius authorities, the court underlined that the right to assembly must be ensured for minorities and people with non-popular views as well.

“Restrictions on the March for Freedom are not necessary in a democratic society,” the court ruled.

The court ordered Vilnius Municipality to coordinate the location for the gay pride parade with the Lithuanian Gay League by 11 a.m. on Thursday. The parade is planned for Saturday, 27 July, 2013.

The court also said that Vilnius Regional Administrative Court was right in its ruling that the march through Gediminas Avenue chosen by the organisers “would ensure a proper balance of personal rights and public interests”.

“Democracy does not simply mean the reign of the majority attitude. By ensuring democratic pluralism, the state has positive duties to ensure effective use of the right to peaceful assemblies also for persons with non-popular views or minority members,” the court said in a statement.

Vilnius Municipality had suggested holding the gay pride parade on Upės Street a bit further from Vilnius centre. The organisers, however, wanted to march through Gediminas Avenue.

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