Paul Birrell, Chair of WorldPride, has expressed outrage at preparations the city of Riga, Latvia is making to ban Baltic Pride this weekend:
“I am appalled and disgusted that the City of Riga intends banning this important event. Having already agreed to play host, they now claim that a peaceful march for Equality will be ‘immoral’.
Visitors from across Europe will be joining in Riga for a weekend of cultural events, political discussion and the march. To call this immoral is as offensive as it is inaccurate. I would urge those cities around the world that are in the majority, and celebrate their LGBT population, to join me in condemning the undiluted bigotry of Riga City Council.”
15 to 17 May will be the first Baltic Pride, a joint celebration of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian LGBT organisations. This will become an annual event and will take place in Vilnius in 2010 and in Tartu in 2011. Mozaika, this year’s host organizations, has held successful pride events in Riga since 2005. In 2007 the organization was twinned with Pride London and held their first march and outdoor event.
The City Council are due to meet tomorrow to ban the event. A motion referring to it as ‘immoral’ has already been signed by 34 of 60 councillors.