Baltic Pride 2016 March for Equality Will Take Place on the Central Avenue

The National LGBT* Rights Organization LGL congratulates the decision by the Vilnius City Municipality Administration of October 21st, 2015 to facilitate the Baltic Pride 2016 March for Equality on the central avenue in the downtown of Vilnius. The event will take place on June 18th, 2016 (Saturday) on the Gediminas Avenue. The march will culminate in a gathering of the LGBT* community in the public park of the Bernardine Garden, located in the historic Old Town of the city. The march and the gathering will take place between 12 PM and 6 PM, more than 1000 participants are anticipated.

Baltic Pride is a joint project by the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian LGBT* organizations, seeking to promote openness and cooperation among the Baltic societies in challenging homo-, bi- and transphobic attitudes. The Baltic Pride festival will be organized in Vilnius for the third time. This time the festival will be used as a platform for challenging the discriminatory application of the “anti-gay propaganda” law and initiating the broader public discussion on legal recognition of same-sex relationships in Lithuania. The official slogan of the festival is “We are people, not propaganda!

The Baltic Pride 2016 festival, taking place between June, 13th and June 19th, 2016 will encompass not only the March for Equality , but also a plethora of cultural, social and community events. On June 16th (Thursday) a theatrical event of Pride Voices will take place, where internationally famous members of LGBT* community will share their personal stories. On June 17th (Friday) the international human rights conference on the topic of legal recognition of same-sex relationships will be organized. On June 18th (Saturday) the members of the LGBT* community and their allies will participate in the March for Equality and the following gathering in the public park of the Bernardine Garden. During the festival, the community cultural space Pride House will open its doors, as well as the queer movie festival “Kreivės“.

The National LGBT* Rights Organization LGL is delighted that the beginning of the preparations for the Baltic Pride 2016 festival has been marked by the constructive cooperation with the Vilnius City Municipality Administration. “It is great that the idea of an open and inclusive capital city becomes the reality. The association LGL is ready to deliver the Baltic Pride 2016 celebration to the City of Vilnius and we will put all our efforts to make this event interesting and useful not only to the members of the LGBT* community and its allies, but also to the residents of Vilnius and it guests,” – stated the LGL’s Executive Director Vladimir Simonko.

In 2013 the association LGL had to defend the constitutional right to peaceful assembly by the local LGBT* community before the national courts. That year more than 800 members of the LGBT* community and their allies participated in the march, while the event was observed by more than 500 residents of Vilnius and its guests. In 2014 the Baltic Pride festival took place in Tallinn (Estonia) and in 2015 – in Riga (Latvia). In Riga the March for Equality attracted more than 5000 participants.