by Rex Wockner
Gay pride didn't go well in Moldova for the third year in a row.
Authorities in the capital, Chisinau, banned all public pride activities again, despite a Supreme Court ruling that last year's ban was illegal.
The city says pride events threaten public order, offend Christian values and promote sexual propaganda.
Despite the ban, gay activists attempted to lay flowers April 27 at a monument to victims of repression. They were stopped by police, who said a permit was required for the action.
The flowers were then deposited at the officers' feet, said Boris Balanetkii, head of the pride organizing group GenderDoc-M.
"Police [said] GenderDoc-M has to have official permission of the City Hall to hold this event [but] later a representative of City Hall commented in an interview … that the actions of the police were not correct and in order to lay flowers there is no need for any permission," Balanetkii said.
Later in the day, about 20 activists went to City Hall and stood in front of it for 15 minutes with their mouths taped shut with rainbow stickers. Police allowed the protest and protected the activists from about 30 counterdemonstrators from an extremist youth organization, Balanetkii said.
"This event showed that the public disorder, of which the members of the City Hall [are] so afraid, did not take place, and the majority of the people who were witnesses of the event were peaceful," Balanetkii said.
"We consider it was the first small victory in the fight of the LGBT community for the freedom of assembly in Moldova. [We will] do our best that next year a public manifestation of the LGBT community will take place not only as protest action but as a pride parade."
Activists from the Netherlands, Sweden (including Member of the European Parliament Maria Carlshamre), Romania, Canada and Ukraine traveled to Chisinau to participate in the pride activities, which also included cultural events, concerts, forums, a soccer match and the Moldovan premiere of The Vagina Monologues.