The Senate of the Supreme Court of Latvia on Thursday upheld the April ruling of a lower court that the ban on Riga’s Gay Pride in 2006 by the city authorities was unlawful.
On April 12 this year, the Regional Administrative Court ruled the ban unlawful, but the Riga City Council appealed the decision.
A spokesperson for Mozaika, the country’s LGBT group, said that it was fortunate that the City Council appealed the Administrative Court decision and went to the Supreme Court.
Thursday’s decision is final and sets precedent for Latvia’s courts system and future rulings. The ruling brings Latvia in line with the European Convention on Human Rights on the right to assembly and to “demonstrate” peacefully.
This year’s Riga Gay Pride went ahead, with organisers getting the cooperation of the City Council. However, the event was confined to a park in the centre of the capital, with a “limited” march in the park.
“It is a good start,” commented MEP RaÃ¼l Romeva, vice president of the European Parliament’s ‘Intergroup’ for gay and lesbian rights, at the time. “Perhaps in the future Riga Pride will be through the streets of the city.”
Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling should, in theory, allow this to happen.