moldova flagPost submitted by Jane WothayaThirikwa, HRC Global Engagement Fellow

Moldovan Parliament voted Friday to repeal its recently enacted law prohibiting the “propagation of any other relations than those related to marriage or family” that was hurriedly passed in June 2013.

The Contravention Code was amended in secret, making those found in violation to face fines of 8,000 Leu, (about $628 dollars), while businesses or non-government organization faced possible suspension of activities for up to a year.

According to the IDAHO Committee, the annulment of this law is being interpreted as a deliberate political move for Moldova’s European Union accession bid, ahead of November’s EU summit in Lithuania.

The Members of the European Parliament welcomed the decision, as the law breached the European Convention on Human Rights by limiting freedom of expression in a discriminatory way. According to European Parliament Member Marije Cornelissen, the discriminatory law increased stigmatization of LGBT people and the obstruction of LGBT organizations’ work.

In June, Russia passed a law prohibiting the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relationships, while Ukraine and Lithuania have similar pending bills.

The Orthodox Christian Church strongly backed the propaganda law, and after its annulment, several dozen Christians are reported to have gathered outside the parliament with crosses and icons, and attempted to block lawmakers from entering the building.

Filed under: International

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