Baltic Pride 2016 Press Conference held at the Lithuanian Parliament

On 10 June, 2016 the Lithuanian Parliament Seimas held a “Baltic Pride” 2016 press conference “We are people, not propaganda.” During the press conference, organizers and attendees of the “Baltic Pride” 2016 were greeted by Swedish Ambassador to Lithuania H. E. Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin, Parliament member Dalia Kuodytė, and editor of the “Baltic Pride” 2016 informational partner Jūratė Juškaitė, while the “Baltic Pride” 2016 program was presented by Vladimir Simonko, Executive Director of the National LGBT* rights organization LGL and Augustas Čičelis, the leader of the association In Corpore.

This year, the “Baltic Pride” is returning to Vilnius for the third time. This time the festival, organized by LGL and partner organizations, will be used as a platform to challenge the discriminatory application of the “anti-gay propaganda” law and to encourage constructive discussion on the topic of legal recognition of same-sex relationships. The official festival slogan is “We are people, not propaganda!”

The traditional March for Equality will take place on Saturday, June 18th at 12pm along a route from Lukiškių Square to Bernardinų Garden via Gedinimo ave. After the march, the LGBT* community will gather in the Bernardinų Garden public park. Participants in the march will have the opportunity to attend the free Baltic Pride Park concert, starting at 4pm, in the art factory Loftas.

From June 13-19th, a rich variety of cultural and social events will take place as part of the festival, such as the theatrical event Pride Voices, on June 16th, in which prominent members of the international LGBT* community will share their personal experiences. On June 17th, international human rights activists will convene for a conference focusing on legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

The “Baltic Pride” 2016 festival will welcome many prominent guests from abroad: former Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, European Parliament Vice-President Ulrike Lunacek, Matthew Shepard’s parents Judy and Dennis Shepard, Swedish Culture and Democracy Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke, and others.

The Baltic Pride Park concert will feature internationally known artists including Dana International (Israel), DJ Leomeo (France), LaDiva Live (France), Maria Sam Katseva (Ukraine), Lithuanian Eurovision representative Donny Montell, and “Muzikos Akademijos” winner Ruslanas Kirilkinas.

LGBT* film festival Kreivės, organized by In Corpore, and social-cultural space Pride House will also hold events during the festival week.

@ Augustas Didžgalvis