Monday, April 26, 2010

Possible gay rights parade causes stir

Gay rights organizations in Moldova have announced plans to organize a parade in downtown Chisinau on May 2.

This announcement has caused a big stir in Moldovan political and religious circles. The Moldovan Metropolitan has asked that the manifestation be banned because it would be "a direct attack on social and ethical norms" and because it would be "shameful."

Chisinau city council members also circulated a letter addressed to mayor Dorin Chirtoaca, asking him to ban the demonstration because it would impose the normality of "abnormal sexual practices" on society. The only city councilor who refused to sign was independent Oleg Cernei, who said the letter had been written by Christian Democrat leader Iurie Rosca, whom he dislikes. The letter seems to have united people across the political spectrum - both Communists and anti-Communists signed it.

Chisinau mayor Dorin Chirtoaca has said that every Moldovan citizen has the right to free assembly no matter what they believe in. He therefore seems unlikely to cancel the parade. His position has been supported by a number of human rights NGOs.

Whatever happens, if the gay parade is held in Chisinau, it is likely to bring out a lot of counter-protesters, mostly from religious organizations. Police officers always have to be present in large numbers because there are occasional clashes.

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