Organisers of Latvia’s first-ever Gay Pride parade have vowed to press ahead with the event on Saturday despite a ban from officials.
The city council in Latvian capital Riga had approved the 23 July Pride event, before withdrawing its support this week, 365Gay.com reported.
Erik Skapars, executive director of Riga City, withdrew support for the event following criticism from Latvian prime minister Aigars Kalvitis.
Kalvitis said organisers’ plans to hold the parade near a 13 th-century cathedral in central Riga amounted to sacrilege.
Members of the committee organising Saturday’s parade said they were outraged at the ban, the UK Gay News website reported.
(We have) decided not to obey and to go ahead with all planned events, including the Pride March, Andrejs Strautins, of organising committee Gay and Lesbian Youth Support Group said.
Riga Pride parade supporters have submitted a complaint against the City’s decision, with a judgment due by Friday. If that decision goes against them, Pride organisers said they might take their case to the European Court of Human Rights in France.
The Riga controversy follows recent bans on other international Gay Pride events.
In June, the mayor of Polish capital Warsaw banned a gay parade in the city, but about 2,500 people marched in defiance of the orders.
Also last month, the mayor of Jerusalem slapped a ban on a gay and lesbian march but a court reversed the decision. The Israeli event went ahead but was marred by a series of stabbings.