News in today is that the Baltic Pride Festival March has been suspended pending the outcome of a court case. From the Baltic Pride facebook:
Wednesday morning Vilnius District Administrative Court announced it will concider the request by interim Attorney General Raimondas Petrauskas and member of Kaunas city council Stanislovas Buskevicius to revoke the permit of Vilnius municipality to hold LGBT march “For Equality”.
Until the verdict is reached, the court suspended the permit as a temporary security measure.
Mr Petrauskas filed the request on Monday, quoting security issues as the basis to ban the main event of “Baltic Pride Vilnius 2010.”
“I have only one argument – maintaining public order. In case there’s a threat to people’s wellbeing and public security, the permit should not be given,” said Attorney General.
He claimed having received official information – that is currently classified – from operational services. “We have to weight peaceful march against public order and wellbeing. We could, of course, fence the area and guard so tha no one approaches it, but first, people have to come and leave it somehow,” said Mr Petrauskas.
He admits that his request might make Lithuania look homophobic, “but how will we look if there are reports about violence and other phenomena.”
The interim Attorney General claims to have information that radical and violent groups are organizing protests and provocations against the marchers.
“We have reason to believe that the state will not be able to provide proper protection for the participants in the intended location, i.e., streets of Vilnius,” – he claims in the request, asking to cancel the decision of Vilnius municipal authority to grant the permit for the march scheduled for 8 May.
The court also received a similar request from a member of Kaunas City Council Stanislovas Buskevicius, who claims that the march “would offend the values dear to Lithuania – decency, fidelity, fertility, human dignity.” According to politician, the state should not embrace the life style that goes against the values of the majority.
The organizers of “Baltic Pride” also filed a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office against its current head. Mr Petrauskas is seeking to influence their will and free choice in order to stop them from exercising their right to peaceful assembly, claim LGL chairman Vladimiras Simonko, Eduardas Platovas and Vytautas Valentinavicius.
According to them, Attorney General is abusing his power to “exert illegal pressure” without pointing out concrete breaches to public interest.