Amnesty International Demands Lithuanian President Support ‘Gay Pride’ March

By Hilary White

VILNIUS, May 6, 2010 ( – Amnesty International has issued a media statement demanding that the president of Lithuania allow Gay Pride activities in the country. Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaite, has been instructed in a press release by the group to “ensure that the 2010 Baltic Pride march goes ahead on 8 May despite a new attempt to have it banned.”

The press release comes in response to a decision by a court to suspend the permit for the event.

Yesterday morning, the Vilnius District Administrative Court announced it will consider a request by interim Attorney General Raimondas Petrauskas and member of Kaunas city council Stanislovas Buskevicius to revoke the permit for the events. Until the verdict is reached, the court suspended the permit as a “temporary security measure.”

“I have only one argument – maintaining public order. In case there’s a threat to people’s wellbeing and public security, the permit should not be given,” said the attorney general. “We have to weigh [the] peaceful march against public order and wellbeing.”

Buskevicius said the march “would offend the values dear to Lithuania – decency, fidelity, fertility, human dignity.”  He said that the state should not embrace a lifestyle that goes against the values of the majority.

The most recent blast from Amnesty International follows their criticism last year of the country’s law prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality in schools and other public venues. Amnesty complained of the effort by 50 Lithuanian parliamentarians who have tried to have the march banned, saying it would violate that law, which came into force earlier this year.

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