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Queer-bashing at Latvia Pride parade


Bigot: Latvia’s Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis

Anti-gay violence erupts, and again, officials, by publicly stating intolerance, fan the flames of bigotry.

Latvian police have arrested protesters after they shouted insults and threw eggs at people taking part in the Baltic state’s first gay pride march. The few dozen marchers were outnumbered by hundreds of protesters who blocked the narrow streets of the capital.

Police were forced to alter the march route and to form a chain around the parade participants to protect them. The march had sparked outrage in Latvia and only went ahead after a court overturned a council ban on the event. Officials said that six of the protesters had been detained for their part in disrupting the march.

Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis had opposed the event, saying Riga should “not promote things like that”. “For sexual minorities to parade in the very heart of Riga, next to the Doma church, is unacceptable,” he told LNT television on Wednesday.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding