Moldova Begins Its First Public Gay Pride

Jim Burroway

May 9th, 2008

Moldova PrideFor the past seven years running, authorities in the former Soviet republic of Moldova’s capital city of Chisinau had banned public Gay Pride celebrations. But a new law on public gatherings appears to have cleared the way for the this year’s “Rainbow over the Dniester” celebration to go forward.

Barring any unforeseen roadblocks, organizers expect to hold this year’s Pride parade on May 11. The parade, organized by GenderDoc-M, will go from the National Library and end at Chisinau’s central square. The theme for the parade is “All Different — All Equal.”

Moldova’s Pride celebrations kicked off yesterday with the laying of flowers to the monument to the victims of repressions, and a symbolic marriage ceremony later that evening. Other events include a concert of Moldovan pop stars, art shows and plays, a commemoration of GenderDoc-M’s tenth anniversary, and a tour of Moldovan historical sites. Celebrations will conclude on May 11 with a “Miss Flawless Queen 2008” contest.

Moldova became independent from the former Soviet Union in 1991.

clement

May 9th, 2008

LGBT Pride March in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau is banned by the Mayor.
Below is a message from the Moldovan LGBT activists as forwarded to the euro-queer mailing list.

MESSAGE FROM PARTICIPANTS IN THE 7TH MOLDOVAN LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND
TRANSGENDER PRIDE ~SRAINBOW OVER THE DNISTER~T
CHISINAU, MOLDOVA
08 MAY 2008

We, participants of the 7th Moldovan LGBT pride ~SRainbow over the Dniester~T
protest over the decision of the Chisinau city hall to ban the peaceful
public manifestation in support of tolerance an non-discrimination in
Moldovan society, organized by NGO ~SGenderDoc-M~T. The manifestation was
planned for 11th of May 2008 at 11:00 am, and we have decided to proceed
with our plans despite the city hall ban. The latter is unlawful, as
according to Moldovan laws only the court can prohibit a march, and not a
local authority. Moreover, in 2007 the Supreme Court has found a similar
decision of the city hall as violating Constitution and the European
Convention for Human Rights. It is already sixth time that a peaceful LGBT
demonstration is banned in Moldova, despite pressure and criticism of the
Council of Europe, European Union and the Organisation for Security and
Cooperation in Europe.

>From the police, city hall and mass-media we have learned that a number of groups is planning violent attacks on pride participants. We believe that
the unlawful decision of the city hall was designed to shift the
responsibility for any victims of this violence from local authorities and
the police to pride organizers. The actions of the Chisinau city hall and
the police are in violation of the European Convention for Human Rights and
the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, to which Moldovan is a
signatory, as well as other international human rights obligations of the Moldovan state. It is also against the European Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which Moldova has aspirations to join.

We believe that human rights belong to all people, regardless of sexual
orientation and gender identity. Everyone has the right to expression in a public space. We therefore call on Chisinau mayor to withdraw the ban, and
on Moldovan law-enforcement authorities to provide adequate protection to
pride participants.

For more information please visit http://www.gay.md or call GenderDoc-M Executive Director Boris Balanetkii at +37322276094

TRANSLATION OF THE CHISINAU CITY HALL DISPOSITION (ORIGINAL IN ROMANIAN ALSO
ATTACHED):
CHISINAU CITY HALL
DISPOSITION
NR. 321-D FROM 08.05.2008
~SWith regards to prohibiting organization of a public manifestation in the city of Chisinau~T

Based on examination of an advance declaration nr. 162 from 18.04.2008 of
the Information Center GenderDoc-M, taking into consideration information
from the office of the general police commissioner of the city of Chisinau
nr. 2548 from 08.05.2008 about disagreement of religious organizations with regards to allowing the respective manifestation, as well as letters from
school students, dwellers of the city of Chisinau, opinions of public associations and of the citizens, which have appeared on the internet, in
mass media, on the radio and on television, which accuse sexual minorities of aggressiveness and violation of spiritual and moral values, in order to avoid any tensions in society, on the basis of articles 5 (1), art. 6, art. 8 (b), art. 10 (3), art. 16 (1-4), art. 18 (1,2) and art. 19 from the Law of the Republic of Moldova nr. 26 ~V XIV on public manifestations, and ~E the law on local public administration, the Chisinau mayor decides:
– To prohibit organization of a meeting in form of a public action,
solicited by the Information Centre ~SGenderDoc-M~T on 11 May 2008.
– Social-humanitarian and interethnic department (Mrs. Stratulat) to ensure control over execution of this disposition.

General Mayor of Chisinau
Dorin Chirtoaca

LEGAL COMMENT BY GENDERDOC-M
According to the new Moldovan law on public manifestations, local authorities have no right to prohibit a public manifestation. In case they have serious proof that the law will be broken during a public manifestation, they can take organisers of a public manifestation to court, and ONLY the latter can decide to prohibit the manifestation. Therefore this decision has no legal value.

The reasons for prohibition are also clearly limited by the law, and do not
include any reasons given by the city hall in the letter above, except for
violation of public morality. However, as Moldovan courts have already
previously established, GenderDoc-M manifestations are not violating public
morality.

Juris Lavrikovs
Communications Manager

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