Support for EuroPride Riga 2015
18 March the Norwegian Helsinki Committee sent a letter to the Latvian Prime Minister Mrs. Laimdota Straujuma, expressing our concern that the Latvian organisation Association Antiglobālisti attempt to use legal loopholes to prevent EuroPride from taking place in Riga in 2015. The loophole is of an administrative nature.
It is not unexpected that this event would meet resistance from homo- and transphobic groups, but if such groups can find ways to prevent the parade by legal means that calls for particular concern.
Latvia currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and should use this opportunity to demonstrate EUs fierce stand on the right to freedom of expression and assembly. We have encouraged Mrs. Straujuma to express the Latvian Government’s full commitment to protect the human rights of all citizens regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, and to express full support for EuroPride2015.
During EuroPride2014 in Oslo The Norwegian Helsinki Committee, the Norwegian LGBT Organization and Amnesty International Norway invited LGBTI activists from Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova and Belarus to Norway to draw attention to the situation for LGBTI persons in their countries. All activists expressed concern about the way both authorities and non-governmental associations propagate the need to protect so-called traditional family values against non-traditional sexual relations. This is the agenda promoted by Antiglobālisti, and it is particularly important that this line of argumentation does not receive any direct or indirect support from the authorities.
During his visit to Oslo, Co-chair of EuroPride 2015, Kaspars Zalitis from the organization Mozaika, called on the international community to express support for EuroPride Riga 2015. NHC would like to take this opportunity to extend our best wishes to the organizers, with expectations that this will be at least as proud an event as when they marched at the front of the parade in Oslo 28 June 2014.