May 21, 2017

Priests and Protesters Attack Gay Pride Marchers




CHISINAU -- A protest march organized by Moldova's LGBT community on May 21 in the capital, Chisinau, was halted after just several hundred meters as police sought to avert a confrontation with participants in a counterprotest made up of "Orthodox priests and believers."

Scores of participants in the LGBT march, who were wearing white shirts with the logo of the No Fear social campaign, were evacuated in buses by police after eggs and water were thrown at them by those attenting the counterprotest.

The march had been called to protest what members of the LGBT community perceive as antigay legislation in Moldova.

Meanwhile, Moldova's pro-Russian President Igor Dodon, who has been critical of the LGBT community and its march, which he said contradicted "our traditional values," attended a separate counterrally in downtown Chisinau, called the Traditional Family Festival.

Dodon was accompanied by his children and was photographed with other children and parents.

On May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, 10 ambassadors to Moldova issued a joint statement voicing hope that the LGBT march would take place without incident.
The statement was signed by the envoys of the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Lithuania, and Estonia.

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