ILGA-Europe welcomes today’s Lithuanian court decision to allow Baltic Pride march on main city avenue

05/07/2013

ILGA-Europe warmly welcome today’s decision which satisfies the request by the organisers of the Baltic Pride to host the March for Equality on the main city’s avenue, as is the case for other major parades.

We congratulate the Lithuanian Gay League and Baltic LGBTI activists who have pressed on to ensure that their right to freedom of assembly is guaranteed. We also congratulate the Lithuanian justice system for taking such a decision and rejecting the discriminatory objections presented by the Vilnius City Council.

Freedom of assembly is a basic human rights and it is a duty of the state to ensure this right is exercised by all citizens without any discrimination or legal and administrative impediments. Moreover, it is the duty of the state to protect minority groups should such discriminatory objections be filed.

ILGA-Europe now expects that the Lithuanian authorities will ensure the safety of the participants during the March for Equality scheduled for 27 July.

Commenting on today's judgment by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the Board Chair of LGL Vladimir Simonko said:

"It is a great legal victory not only for the local LGBT* community, but for the whole civil society in Lithuania on ensuring the effective exercise of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. We hope that the Vilnius City Municipality will not appeal against this decision before the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania and will implement the court's judgment without any additional reservations. Now we will proceed with organizing the Baltic Pride 2013 March for Equality on Gediminas Avenue in the full swing and we invite the municipal authorities and the police to cooperate with us in facilitating peaceful and colorful event on 27 July 2013."

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