I made a comment about freedom of speech in the topic about the Reuters article. Several people disagreed and one individual use gay pride (praids) as an example.
I hope that the following (posted on the Reuters topic) is helpful in discussing that despite Latvia’s freedom of speech, certain individuals/municipalities may abuse their authority and limit a message.
Re Latvia recognizes the freedom of assembly and allows all kinds of speech.
Latvia does have some express limitations on speech - re former Soviet rule, etc.
Smaller governmental entities have a second type of limitation - whether the assembly poses some danger to the public. (In the U.S. the burden of limiting speech on this found is pretty high.)
It is important to recognize the reality that this second limitation is sometimes used as a pretext to try to limit certain speech that a group doesn’t like. Taking the example provided - gay pride in Riga. (I am speaking with ltd knowledge of the underlying fact.) Riga determined it did not want to allow a gay pride event. It is important to realize that there is a history of a few events - both public and in the Reval Hotel. These were met with tremendous hostility - the throwing of eggs, excrement, etc. I don’t remember whether any people were hurt. BUT, this background provides a rationale for limiting a proposed event in a certain forum. If the court reviews this and overturns it, it means that the burden was not met. (I will not get into my thoughts about the general attitude about homosexuality in Latvia.)
I again admit that this limitation is sometimes used as a pretext to limit certain speech.
This process, however, is legitimate and it is in effect throughout the U.S. The same issues of whether a municipality is stifling free speech comes up all of the time and initial decisions that preclude an event are often overturned. This does NOT mean that there is no freedom of speech and assembly in the U.S.
It is imperative not to confuse the actions of a few individuals in a municipality with the actions and rights provided by the country. Latvia protects freedom of speech and assembly.