Jul 032013

100 Proud Pride Marchers
in First Mordovian Parade in 2013


The red speck shows the Republic of
Mordovia, with its population of over 835,000 persons

Background to our Rainbow brothers and sisters in Mordovia.

 There has been a great victory for LGBT persons in Mordovia which is one of the 21 republics of the Russian Federation.  When the Soviet Union disintegrated in the early 1990s, Mordovia worked towards becoming a republic and achieved this on January 25, 1994.  Like the other 20 republics, Mordovia has its own constitution and republics are allowed to have their own official language alongside Russia.  They are represented by the federal government in Moscow in international affairs.  Republics are mean to be home to specific ethnic minorities.


Fighting for a Pride Parade:      Chisinau: Capital of Moldova.  Gay Pride was banned in 2005, 2006, and 2007.   In 2008, a bus carrying 60 pride participants was met with opposition from neo-facists and church groups.  The police stood by and made no attempts to help the trapped participants.

 Success in 2013:

In May 2013, the Pride March was held outside the American Embassy and attended by the Swedish and American Ambassadors, and an Eu commissioner and delegates from Gay Organizations from Europe.  The slogan was  “LBGT for Traditional Values.”   The slogan was a direct taunt against the Russian Orthodox Church and the hateful Scott Lively from the United States.  (Lively and others were responsible for the hatred that arose when he visited Uganda).  His scare tactics preceded the triumphant Pride March in Moldovia (warnings of “an outbreak of homosexuality”

 A Great Beginning with Support from USA and Europe     Around 100 people participated in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Pride parade, the first such event in Moldova.The march, which was organized by Gender-Doc Moldova, a national NGO working on LGBTI issues, was stopped early due to threats from counter-demonstrators.

“This is a red-letter day for LGBTI rights in Moldova; now the authorities must publicly support Pride marches and enable this event to be the first of many of its kind,” said Amnesty International’s David Diaz-Jogeix, Deputy Director of Europe and Central Asia Programme.

Sunday’s march passed off peacefully but was curtailed after counter demonstrators found out where the event was being held.

Before the parade, an Orthodox Bishop from the city of Bălţi called on priests, Afghanistan war veterans and Chisinau residents to resist the march.

Around a thousand counter-demonstrators gathered in the city centre on Sunday to protest against the march and the Law on Ensuring Equality – the anti-discrimination legislation that came into effect in January.

Amnesty International has called on the Morldovian authorities to amend the law so that it clamps down on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in all areas of life. Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is explicitly prohibited only in employment, while discrimination on the grounds of gender identity is not explicitly prohibited in the law.

“The authorities must publicly acknowledge the seriousness of discrimination against LGBTI individuals and the need to take concerted action to address it,” said David Diaz-Jogeix.

“That means condemning any homophobic remarks made by politicians or members of the public.”

Organizers had to change the location of the march three days before the event due to the fear of counter-demonstrations. The final route was only agreed on Saturday after police warned of a security risk.

In March last year local councils in Bălţi, the villages of Chetriş and Hiliuţi in Făleşti District and the Anenii Noi District took openly discriminatory measures to forbid any kind of promotion of LGBTI rights. Only one council repealed its decision upon intervention by the Ombudsperson.

On 12 June, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the banning of an LGBTI demonstration in May 2005 in Chisinau had violated the right to freedom of assembly as well as the right not to be discriminated against.


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