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Vilnius court to hold emergency hearing on LGBT pride march

Baltic pride Vilnius 2010
Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Baltic pride Vilnius 2010
Šaltinis: BNS

The Chief Administrative Court of Lithuania has decided to hold an emergency hearing on Vilnius authorities' appeal against a court of lower instance's ruling ordering them to allow a gay pride parade through the central Gedimino Avenue.

The hearing is scheduled for the upcoming Monday and will not be public. The parties will not be invited to attend the hearing as the court will hear the parties' written submissions.

"The appeal has been accepted and the emergency hearing of written submissions will take place at 9 AM on Monday," Neringa Lukoševičienė, spokeswoman for the Chief Administrative Court of Lithuania, told BNS on Tuesday.

Vilnius authorities said in their appeal that if they allowed the gay pride parade through Gedimino Avenue, they would violate the Law on Assembly providing for a certain distance civil assemblies must keep from state institutions and courts.

Vilnius Regional Court had satisfied the Lithuanian Gay Leagues' appeal asking it to annul Vilnius Municipality's decision to ban the gay pride parade through Gedimino Avenue and ordered Vilnius authorities to issue permission.

Vilnius Municipality suggests holding the LGBT pride parade on Upės Street a little further from Vilnius center. The organizers, however, want to march through Gedimino Avenue, saying it is a more appropriate site for an awareness-raising event and one traditionally used by other rallies and festivals.

The Lithuanian Gay League has already won one appeal case when the court ruled that Vilnius authorities cannot choose a venue for an event.

The organizers maintain the march, which is held in many Western countries, is important in raising public awareness about the discrimination against LGBT people and promoting equality. Meanwhile, some critics in Lithuania say it "propagates homosexuality."

The March For Equality is planned for July 27.

The first LGBT pride parade in Lithuania took place in 2010, which was also preceded by court hearings on the march location and permission to hold it. The march itself took place eventually, with several hundred people marching through a heavily-guarded territory in the presence of around a thousand protesters.

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