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Last Updated: Friday, 22 July, 2005, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
Latvia gay pride given go-ahead
London Gay Pride march
London Gay Pride march: Many cities now hold such events
The first gay pride parade to be staged in the Latvian capital Riga has been given the go-ahead by a court, despite fears of homophobic violence.

The court found that the city council's reasons for banning the event on Saturday were unjustified.

Organisers saluted the decision, saying it was a victory for democracy and reason over prejudice and hate.

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.

The city council's chief executive said he had withdrawn the parade's permit after receiving letters and e-mails from religious and extremist groups threatening to disrupt it.

Following the court ruling, the Riga Pride parade will now be allowed to pass through the Old City.

Revellers from Sweden, Russia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland are expected to join the event.

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Country profile: Latvia
20 Jul 05 |  Country profiles

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