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Lithuania’s First Ever Pride March in Jeopardy: Take Action

Lithuania’s first-ever pride was set to culminate in the first-ever “March for Tolerance” this Saturday in the Lithuanian capital city of Vilnius. But, as of yesterday, that won’t happen. A Vilnius administrative court “temporarily” suspended the march on public security grounds —pending a full hearing after the march would take place on Saturday — despite police assurances that they are able to protect participants from counter-demonstrator attacks. Unfortunately, this move is just another setback in a growing climate of intimidation and discrimination in Lithuania against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, according to the Baltic Pride organizers. In past years, municipal authorities have issued derogatory statements and several LGBT events were banned, including EU initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and combating discrimination. Lithuania has cancelled all previously planned public LGBT events in the country. Baltic Pride was previously held in Latvia (2008) and Estonia (2009) and, according to organizers, is a "unique opportunity for human rights defenders across Europe to get together and discuss common problems and challenges, share experiences and best practices on tackling discrimination and advancing equality and human rights for LGBT people, as well as celebrating achievements." Sign Amnesty International’s petition calling on the Lithuanian President to secure safety. UPDATE: Pride is back on after a ruling from a court in Lithuania.

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