Monday May 10, 2010

Vilnius ‘Baltic Pride’ Homosexual March Goes Ahead Amidst Violent Clashes

By Hilary White

VILNIUS, Lithuania, May 10, 2010 ( – Despite efforts by legislators to stop it, the “Baltic Pride March” went ahead this weekend, resulting in violent clashes between homosexuals, citizens and police. Between 300 and 500 homosexuals and their supporters marched in the capital Vilnius, Lithuania on Saturday, and were met by a crowd of counter-demonstrators estimated at about 2000.

When the clashes became violent, about 600 police resorted to tear gas to disperse crowds. At least twelve arrests were made.

The homosexualists were supported by Swedish Minister for European Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson, who said, “Today we are marching for freedom, today we are marching for equality, today we are marching for Europe … that we would never accept homophobia taking over our streets.”

The march went forward after organizers won a court appeal on Friday. Interim Attorney General Raimondas Petrauskas and member of Kaunas city council Stanislovas Buskevicius had asked the court to revoke the permit for the event. Last week the court had suspended the permit as a “temporary security measure.”

Although homosexual activity was decriminalized in the largely Catholic country in 1993, polls show that over two-thirds of Lithuanians are opposed to greater privileges for homosexuals, including gay “marriage.”

The pressure has increased on Lithuania from international homosexualist activists at the European Union and Amnesty International after the country’s parliament passed a law last June prohibiting the dissemination of information that “agitates for homosexual, bisexual relations, or polygamy.”

Read related LSN coverage:

Lithuania Passes Law against Homosexual Propaganda in Schools, Media