By Michael Baggot

  RIGA, Latvia, June 3, 2008 ( – Following efforts from a European Parliament group to silence public disapproval of homosexual behavior, six conservative MPs from the Latvia First Party boldly challenged the “gross interference of a homosexual group of European Parliament members into Latvia’s internal affairs” in a recently released statement.

“Church representatives and other supporters of traditional family values stand against the forcing of the mistaken idea that homosexuality is normal upon society, against the legal equalisation of homosexual rights and the natural family model, and against the challenging demonstration of homosexuals and immoral and hooligan behaviours,” stated the six MPs.

  The MPs’ remarks came in response to the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights condemnation of an open letter from Archbishop of Riga Cardinal Janis Pujats and other Catholic priests opposing the legality of the May 31st pro-homosexuality Equality March.

  The European group chided the Catholic clergy for “inflicting their prejudices on others.”

“The signatories to the letter show a blatant disregard for human rights as expressed in the European Convention of Human Rights,” said Michael Cashman, President of the Intergroup.

“They also show an appalling and worrying ignorance of EU Treaties and legislation. They should not interfere in a democratic state which abides by the rule of law. It is up to governments to govern and up to the clergymen to preach unto those who believe as they do.”

  The Latvia First Party criticized the Intergroup’s attempt to silence opposition to homosexuality.

“We, members of the 9th Saeima of the Republic of Latvia, denounce the attacks by the homosexual group of European Parliament members who are trying to limit our freedom of speech and our religious convictions,” responded the six MPs.

  Cardinal Pujats’s late May letter against the Equality March is not the first time the prelate has spoken against the threat of pro-homosexuality activists.

  Last May, the Latvian newspaper Ritienda published the open letter by Cardinal Pujats, “Defending Family Values,” where the head of Latvia’s Catholic Church described homosexual behavior as “total corruption in the sexual arena” and an “unnatural form of prostitution.”

“One month from now, there will once again be the issue of tolerance towards homosexuality in the context of yet another attempt to organise a Pride march on June 3,” the Archbishop of Riga stated in his letter, saying that the organisers of the Pride march are “essentially demanding that people be tolerant toward this moral corruption”.

“They are demanding not just tolerance, but also that sexual corruption be protected by law and popularised on the basis of special programmes in schools and other organised events,” the Cardinal warned.

“There would be no opportunity to object against legal events, because that would be seen as a manifestation of hatred.  That’s how corruption grows into dictatorship.”

  Cardinal Pujats went on to encourage peaceful counter-protests against the marchers.
  The Latvia First Party recently joined in the Cardinal’s warnings against pro-homosexuality marches.

“A homosexual march is not an innocent and colourful rainbow. It is a bomb explosion with poisonous gases which people will breathe long after the event itself. People will not even notice how they poison and change their minds and their bodies.”

  Ever since Latvia joined the European Union in 2004, it has been under constant pressure to adopt the EU’s pro-homosexuality laws. Latvia’s previous President Vike-Freiberga was a strong defender of homosexuality activism in the country, and in September 2006 successfully cowed the Parliament into banning discrimination on sexual orientation; a condition of membership in the EU.

  See related coverage:

  Latvian Cardinal Warns “Gay” Pride Parade a Foretaste of “True Military” Attack on Nation’s Values

  Homosexual Activists in EU Parliament Vow to Oppose Latvian Pro-Family Measure

  Latvian Parliament Overwhelmingly Supports Constitutional Protection for Traditional Marriage

  Latvian Cardinal Warns Gay Militancy More Dangerous than Soviet Times