Lithuania

Lithuania Holds First Gay Pride Parade

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A Lithuanian court this week reversed an earlier decision banning that Catholic-country's first gay pride parade, which took place today with approximately 400 participants. Sadly, it was not without incident.

The Associated Press reports:

Opponents of Lithuania's first gay pride parade threw smoke bombs and tried to break through a barrier Saturday but were stopped by police firing tear gas.

Later, protesters threw rocks and street signs at security forces, and two Lithuanian lawmakers were detained after trying to climb the barrier.

About 400 people took part in the two-hour march — dubbed "For Equality" — in a sealed-off area in downtown Vilnius. Holding large rainbow flags and dancing to music blaring from loudspeakers, they walked along a road near the city's Neris river.

Participants included many foreigners, diplomats and members of the European Parliament.

"We are here because we believe ... in a just society. Labels are for filing, for clothing, not for people. And we are here today to remove labels from people," said Birgitta Ohlsson, Sweden's minister for European Union affairs.

According to the BBC, anti-gay protesters threw stones and even fireworks at the marchers. 19 people have been arrested.

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Comments

  1. I'm glad there are brave people standing up for equality. Keep marching!

    Posted by: KFLO | May 8, 2010 4:06:03 PM


  2. There will be 1st Gay Pride at May 22 in here, in Slovakia too...I´m kinda hyped and kinda scared...

    Posted by: Matty | May 8, 2010 4:20:02 PM


  3. @MATTY, sending good wishes to you from Canada.

    CONGRATS to the brave people in Lithuania who braved not just bigots with signs, but violent fascists with weapons! They are heroes.

    We shall overcome, and open minds and hearts.
    Cheers

    Posted by: Strepsi | May 8, 2010 4:39:43 PM


  4. notice how they have to be the way we were 40-50 years ago? the daughters of bilitis and the mattachine society in the 50s always tended to dress in somewhat subdued attire because it was still necessary, back then, to show the rest of the world that "we were just like them."

    i commend them for their courage in going up against a particularly bigoted society and look forward to a time when they can be just as outrageous as we get to be in the US. congratulations to lithuania for having the courage to move forward.

    Posted by: alguien | May 8, 2010 5:54:08 PM


  5. @Matty Good luck and Best wishes from the UK!

    I can't believe this sort of thing still goes on in Europe - especially when the EU is keen to stamp out violence and prejudice against LGBT people, then again, I can hardly talk when we still have a long way to go here.

    Posted by: Corvidae | May 8, 2010 6:27:09 PM


  6. Wow this is pride with an edge. I can't imagine living in a place so dangerous. We take our rights for granted, in other parts of the world the tribe is still struggling. My heart goes out to them even as I applaud their incredible courage. I hope this kernel of pride grows and grows.

    Posted by: Tone | May 8, 2010 8:53:35 PM


  7. It's a beautiful thing babe!

    Posted by: SSCHIEFRSHA | May 9, 2010 6:50:49 AM


  8. video Gay Pride Parade
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBV5k5Y3Yu0&feature=player_embedded

    Posted by: darius | May 9, 2010 7:54:23 AM


  9. @alguien

    "i commend them for their courage in going up against a particularly bigoted society and look forward to a time when they can be just as outrageous as we get to be in the US."


    You're a disgrace to the gay community. Being gay is not about being "outrageous". You only alienate "non-outrageous" gays and straight allies, making things worse for all of us.

    Posted by: Eugene | May 9, 2010 10:31:19 AM


  10. Eugene, have you seen some of our straight allies, they get just as outrageous with the best of them. Calm it down. You know what Alguien meant, you just want to be ~controversial.

    Posted by: B | May 9, 2010 3:49:34 PM


  11. @B

    Yes, I KNOW what Alguien meant. That's the point. Have you never wondered why masculine gays are reluctant to come out? Have you never wondered why straight men use the expression "That's gay"?

    It's because of the notion that you can't be gay without being "outrageous". People like Alguien are clinging to ridiculous stereotypes. It's almost as bad as the notion that smart blacks are "acting white".

    Posted by: Eugene | May 9, 2010 4:16:24 PM


  12. Eugene, have you ever read any history?

    BRAVO Lietuva! It looks like a pan-Baltic pride, with Estonian and Latvian groups all marching together. If only some Russians would join them (maybe some did, I just didn't see them).

    Posted by: KevinVT | May 9, 2010 8:53:23 PM


  13. I'm thrilled to see this happen in Lithuania.

    Lithuania is a small nation, but it has a unique place in the history of the world. It has a long tradition of fighting fiercely for its freedom. It was the first unwilling Soviet republic to stand up to Russian troops and cause the chain reaction that led to the break up of the Soviet Union twenty years ago. Hopefully Lithuania will harness this same courage and determination and help lead the way in the effort to promote equal human rights for all. All people of the world have the right to fair, just, and unequivocably equal treatment. The inherent value Lithuanians place on independence ought to encourage them to join this movement and help lead the way.

    Sveikiname Lietuva ir Lietuviams

    Posted by: James Joseph Brown | Jun 3, 2010 2:17:39 PM


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