2006 Gay Parade Ban Ruled Unlawful
In a powerful win for gay rights in Riga, the Latvian Supreme Court has ruled that the ban of the 2006 Riga Pride parade by city authorities was in fact unlawful. The ban had already been ruled unlawful in April of this year by the Regional Administrative Court, but the Riga City Council appealed the decision, to be struck down for the final time by the Supreme Court.
This ruling is very fortunate for gay rights groups in Latvia and in the Baltics in general, as the ruling cannot be overturned and now sets a precedent for decisions of this sort in the future. The ruling also means Latvia is more in line with the European Convention on Human Rights, an important step for the small country with a big problem of homophobia. While the 2006 event was banned, 2007 saw a relatively successful march, though it was still limited by the city. However, with the new ruling in place, one hopes that the 2008 march and all future events will now go undisturbed.