By Hilary White

March 25, 2008 ( – Only two cities in Europe have refused to participate in a campaign by Europe’s leading homosexual lobby group to force the leaders of Europe’s cities to allow the homosexual “Gay Pride” demonstrations. But neither of the cities’ leaders made any objections to the goals or activities of the homosexual activist movement. On the contrary, one said that his city wished “every success” to the campaign.

The mayors of Riga and Tallinn, the capitals of Latvia and Estonia respectively, have politely declined to participate in a campaign launched by the International Lesbian and Gay Association-Europe (ILGA) to attempt to force the leaders of various European cities to hold “Gay Pride” demonstrations.

The Gay Pride events have been one of the key tools around the world for normalizing homosexuality in public opinion and are widely supported by city authorities, businesses and non-governmental organizations in the countries where they are allowed.

The campaign is a response to the refusal by the former Mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczynski, to allow the demonstration that has in other countries been characterized by public nudity and lewd displays of simulated sex acts. Strongly Catholic Poland has been under heavy pressure from the European Union for its refusal to comply with the dictates of the homosexual political movement.

ILGA-Europe’s letter to the mayors read, “ILGA-Europe is seriously concerned that despite a wide international and European condemnation of bans on pride events and other public demonstrations by LGBT [lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered] people and their supporters, some Mayors and local authorities in Europe continue to discriminate and ban or restrict the rights of freedom of assembly and expression for LGBT people. That is why we are appealing to all Mayors of European cities. We sincerely hope that you will support our campaign and sign it.”

Janis Birks, Mayor of Riga, wrote to the group saying that while he wished “every success” to the campaign, the decision whether to participate in Gay Pride festivals should be left up to the competence of individual cities.

Edgar Savisaar, the Mayor of Tallinn, wrote that the issue is one of broad social interest and has forwarded the group’s appeal to Tallinn City Council’s education and culture commission. Tarmo Lausing, chairman of education and culture commission, said that the appeal was unnecessary. “The commission felt that signing a petition like this would mean accepting what is not true and we would admit things which aren’t true,” explained Lausing.

“This doesn’t mean though that we don’t consider protecting the rights of sexual minorities important. Tallinn definitely protects the rights of all minorities living here today and tomorrow.”

Mayor Birks wrote, “The Riga City Council truly supports your initiative, greatly appreciates the actions of the campaign and all the possible positive effects generated by the project.” He added that the Riga City Council is “very open to deepening and broadening our partnership in concrete initiatives in the years to come”.

Mayors and city councillors who have signed the agreement include those of Nicosia in Cyprus, Amsterdam, Winterthur in Switzerland, London, Stockholm, Cologne, Barcelona, Venice, Vienna, Bologna, Manchester, Copenhagen, Budapest, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Paris, Zürich, Berlin, Dublin and Luxembourg.
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