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ECHR Rules Moldova’s Gay Demonstration Ban Unlawful

ECHR Rules Moldova’s Gay Demonstration Ban Unlawful

 

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Moldova’s ban on an LGBT demonstration outside the Moldovan Parliament violated human rights.

In 2005 the Chisinau Municipal Council, acting jointly with the Mayor’s office, prevented group GENDERDOC-M from peacefully demonstrating in front of the Moldovan Parliament. They cited morality concerns. This denial of rights was later upheld by the appeals courts and the country’s Supreme Court of Justice. However, the LGBT rights group, believing it had a strong case under Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights, pursued an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights.

On Tuesday, June 12, the court ruled that Moldova had indeed violated the group’s human rights. The court also called on Moldova to enact rights protections that cover sexual orientation.

Moldova’s authorities had attempted to justify their actions, saying that officials were within their power to prevent the group’s protest because the majority of the Moldovan population is against same-sex relationships. However, they later abandoned this defense, admitting a human rights violation but denying any other violations of the Convention.

The ECHR rejected those arguments however, saying “particularly weighty reasons” were needed to justify such discrimination and that discrimination “based solely on the applicant’s sexual orientation” did in fact “amount to discrimination under the Convention.”

ILGA-Europe, acting together with the International Commission of Jurists, has called the ECHR’s ruling is an important victory.

Said the groups:

“We congratulate GENDERDOC-M and the Moldovan LGBT communities for this important legal victory,” said Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe. “The rights to peaceful assembly and expression are the fundamental rights in a democratic society and the European Court of Human Rights confirmed once again that those rights cannot be restricted on the basis of sexual orientation.”

“We hope that today’s judgment is a signal to Moldovan authorities that the discrimination against LGBT people is unacceptable and illegal and we hope that in the future they will act in accordance with the international human rights standards,” Paradis added.

[...]

“The Court today made clear that public disapproval of ‘promoting homosexuality’ may not be used as a basis to interfere with the exercise of fundamental human rights, including the right to freedom of assembly,” said Alli Jernow, ICJ’s Senior Legal Advisor for the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Project. “When used as a rationale for official action, it is nothing more than discrimination.”

This ruling may have wider implications, for instance where several Russian jurisdictions have enacted bans on the “promotion” of LGBT identity in the public sphere. These have been used to prevent Pride parades and protests.

Currently, Moldova has no LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination laws, while Pride events were banned in the period 2005-2008. While same-sex relationships are not criminalized, gay couples receive no partnership recognition, and trans people have little legal recourse for gender transition recognition.

 

Related Reading:

EU Lawmakers Push Moldova to Pass Gay-Inclusive Nondiscrimination Law

U.N. Approves Resolution Against Anti-Gay Discrimination

UK Tops Europe Map of LGBT Equality


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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Joe Gratz.

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7 comments

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8:17PM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

RE: "Since when is it a 'human right' to parade your sexual preferences for all the world to see? I sure wish someone would hold a 'straight pride' parade - just to illustrate how ludicrous 'pride' parades are!

Get a life - keep your sexual life private. No one really wants to know."

Straight people would be demonstrating also if they were persecuted, murdered, rejected (especially by their families), beaten and otherwise abused, banned, and denied legal rights for their sexuality. I also find it annoying when gay people flaunt their sexuality in inappropriate situations, as do when straight people do. But that's not the same as fighting for just the peace to be themselves, with martial rights and benefits, not having to hide who they are at work.

They are not parading their sexual preferences, but parading for the right to be accepted as normal human beings, which they are. It homosexuality and heterosexuality weren't normal, they wouldn't exist. People's sexual orientation has nothing to do with their worth as people, just as their color, nationality, or gender doesn't. But sexual repression, fear, and hatred certainly affect the way that people function in the world, as do their opposites, only in a good way.

12:32PM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

Wow! It's uncostitutional, for sure, but most countries have refussed to recogniize that until about twentey years ago. Good for them!

12:32PM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

I'm sure Moldova will be absolutely devastated.

Since when is it a "human right" to parade your sexual preferences for all the world to see?

I sure wish someone would hold a "straight pride" parade - just to illustrate how ludicrous "pride" parades are!

Get a life - keep your sexual life private. No one really wants to know!

8:25AM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

Good Job!

4:06AM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

Wonderful news. I can't even begin to think what it must be like to live somewhere like that. I moan about not yet being able to marry my partner in the UK, but I'm sure it will happen soon. For once, we're ahead of so many countries and we have legal protection in many areas. I'm so glad that Moldova's been reprimanded over this.

1:58PM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

Good for the ECHR for their ruling and great for the BLGTQ community in Moldova. May they stand firm in the fight for their human rights. Thanks Steve for the article.

11:09AM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

protect life, prosecute those that seek to destroy our shared home and our fellow beings
life has value beyond measure
Peace and Love

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