Court upholds Rīga’s ban of gay pride parade

The Rīga District Administrative Court has upheld a decision by the Rīga City Council to ban a July 22 gay pride parade in the city, according to Latvian media.

Organizers of “Rīga Pride 2006” asked the court to review the council’s July 19 decision. The council denied the permit citing unspecified security concerns.

The court’s July 21 ruling apparently means no public parade will occur in the Old City district of Rīga, but organizers might move the event to private property, the Web portal Apollo reported.

Organizers may also appeal the court’s ruling.

Last year, the city council issued a permit for the first-ever gay pride parade, but the city manager revoked the permit. However, in that case the Rīga District Administrative Court ruled that the city must re-issue the permit.

This year’s parade was scheduled as part of the July 19-23 Friendship Days in support of Latvia’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

16 thoughts on “Court upholds Rīga’s ban of gay pride parade

  1. Shame on the Riga District Administrative Court for their homophobia. This is a dark day for human rights in Latvia. I send my sincere gratitude and admiration to Riga Pride organizers, who are brave and persistent. They will need to draw upon those qualities in the days to come.

  2. you Canadians make me sick, dont call yourself a Latvian, because we the real Latvians who are living in Latvia dont want to associate ourselves with filth like you who support homosexuality.

  3. Civil Rights is something that is earned, not taken. Civil Rights in the United States of America has been nothing short of hypocrisy by the government against minorities, bigotry against interracial marriage (During the late 20th Century), bigotry against Women’s Rights and Feminism, and finally bigotry by Bible-Thunmpers against Gays and Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgendered citizens; for their civil rights and the human right to marry whom you choose.
    Many pious people, be them American or Latvian, believe that THEIR religious beliefs are THE beliefs that we ALL must share. Not everyone is a Christian, or a Jew, or a Hindu, or a Muslim, or an Atheist. Nor can we categorize every person we meet to standards we value. All people are different in one form or another. Let us hope that Civil Rights will prevail in American, Latvia, The European Union, and eventually…?
    Page Sausman

  4. To the ‘gentleman’ whose so-called comments precede this- if your criteria for being a ‘Real Latvian’ include cowardice (why have you not identified yourself?) and bigotry, then I am indeed not a ‘Real Latvian’. If you took the time to study Latvian history, you would see that social justice activism was a vital part of the National Awakening that lead to Latvia’s first period of independence. Your rhetoric smacks of neo-fascist hatred, not pride in your country’s rich history. Rest assured that I am no more interested in associating with you than you are with me. However, I do pity you.

  5. Sometimes ingnorance to one’s own cruel nature is bliss. Such is the case I see with some of the provious sentiments listed above.
    Make no mistake, Civil Rights WILL come to Latvia. Latvia overcame Nazi cruelty. She overcame Soviet cruelty. Sometimes a nation has to overcome the venomous cruelty of her citizens as well. They will blather on about the Fatherland and why two Lesbians will lead the nation into Hell by the simple notion of wanting to love one another. Igonornance is bliss: live it while you can and when you can. The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, and South Africa in December 2006. Other nations will follow. CIVIL RIGHTS IS COMING AND IF YOU DON’T WANT TO LOOK AT IT: REMINISCE THE SOVIET ERA AND EMBRACE COMMUNISM…

  6. I do not hide. I even have encouraged Latvians living abroad to come to Latvia to live and work as I have posted jobs on this site for over 6 months but received not even one reply.

    Why should Latvia allow people to advertise their sexual orientation in the streets? Equal rights includes the wishes of the people of Riga to not be seen as living in a sex capital. Restrictions are beng also placed on Strip Clubs.

    Equal Rights is an issue not to be confussed with Parading your sexual orientation in the streets.

  7. it is you who are living in a sick society, not us
    God hates your kind,

    @ Page Sausman
    so you are saying that, the bible has ben written by biggots and homophobic people (sarcasm)

    nevertheless i wish you all good luck , Fighting aids, a disease which is a curse for your sins.
    oh and pardon my bad english

  8. To the writer above, Anna Gutmanis; I wish to say that I admire your steadfast courage to speak out against those who have been taught to alienate others who have an attraction to their own sex. Matters of love and sex are best left out of the arena of politics. But, we live in a Western Society that is “Neither savage , nor wise”. I encourage you to contact me, as I am a man of Civil Rights and Freedom. You seem to be a like-minded creature of conscience. I wish you well. I hope that you will attempt to contact me and that our paths may cross, in the near future. My Latvian is pathetic, but I am learning! Sveiks from Idaho!!

  9. The whole issue of “gay pride” is idiotic! What people do behind closed doors (in their own privacy) is their own business! Having said that, homosexualty HAS to be an aberration, since nature put heterosexualty as a means to propagate the species. As long as homoosexuality is not deemed “normal”, I have no problem!

  10. I see that the Riga Court is trying to uphold traditional values and not an aggenda of “Homophobia” as most of the media labels it. I really don’t care what sexual acts are carried out in privacy, but I do have a problem with the public displays of overt sexuality whether homo or hetro sexual. Since when is sexual preference deemed a Civil Right? Who would know, or care, unless you paraded it on the street?

  11. With all respect intended; have any of you ever heard of The Council of Europe? Perhaps you should go to and investigate what the Council is for….

  12. Well Peeteris it’s not about parading, it’s about disallowing someone to proclaim that he’s gay, actually you can easily compare it with parading with latvian insignia in the ussr.
    and the inability of latvian authorities to pass antidiscrimination law as prescribed by the european union legislation, which after all was passed (latvia being the last country in the european union to introduce an antidiscrimination law on basis of sexuaity) is retardation and homophobia rather than an effort to uphold traditional values.
    traditional values are last on their agenda.

  13. If Latvia wishes to be part of the European community, I feel it is important for Latvia to share European ideals. If Latvia feels so strongly against allowing homosexuals to express their personal desires publically, I think the Latvian people need to rethink their wishes to be part of this community. Being of Latvian descent – and homosexual (fortuanately living abroad given these attitudes) I am disappointed to hear of these narrow minded views that one would tend to align with the Soviet Unions (or the “eastern”) ideals of community. Although Latvia has come a long way since its independence I feel this represents the long way left to go… or the education that needs to be done.

  14. Es personiigi neesmu saticis taadus homophobus kuri bija ieradusies demonstreet. Mani homo draugi domaa ka Latvija ir jauka un laipna…celojot pa skaisto Latviju.

  15. I agree with the people who say it is parading sexuality in the streets. when do we get a straight pride parade for sleeping with the opposite sex and perpetuating the latvian race??? I don’t care who you sleep with just keep it out of my (and out of the children’s) faces. It’s disgusting what the world has come to when someone has to define themself by how they have sex.

  16. An acquaintance of years has recently interviewed many people in Latvia on both sides of the debate. His conclusion is that there is No debate. The Gay supporters are saying they have Legal rights and insist on proceeding. The Christians claim to have Moral rights and insist on stopping the procession. Neither side is talking with the other so there is no chance for compromise on how rights can be achieved less violently over a period of time or enable Christians the chance to be more Christian over a period of time. So the issue here is more a question of how to prevent extremists claiming the leadership positions when they are not representative of the people they claim to represent.
    What is Morally acceptable is determined by how we see things in relation to how we see ourselves. The closer a person seems to be similar to us the more we find an injustice to them from outsiders to be immoral. Legal rights in this case are set to prevent injustices to people in Europe where there are many varying ideas of what is morally acceptable. The intention of the law is to provide rights to the people of Europe and not to take away the rights by putting one side on too high a pedestal. There will continue to be a problem for two opposing sides anywhere in the world when an issue gets stuck on the Principle of the issue as has now occurred with these two sides. The only way to break the deadlock is to impose new leaders in to their organisations or ban the personalities in each organisation and call for more mature leaders. New leadership has to work towards enabling the intention of the law to work so that neither side feels discriminated against and so that there is not so much of a insider/outsider question causing a Moral issue.

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