Gay Pride events in Latvia should be seen as unlawful and be banned, Roman Catholic Cardinal Jânis Pujâts has said in an open letter to the government.

The letter, also signed by 26 priests from Roman Catholic congregations, was sent to Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis, Interior Minister Mareks Segliòð, and the Rîga City Council just days before Riga’s Gay Pride and Friendship Days.

The church argues that although the Latvian constitution states that “human rights shall be implemented without any discrimination”, it also says that rights “may be limited in those cases prescribed by law in order to protect the rights of other people, a democratic system of state, the safety of society, and welfare and morals.”

“Given this text in the constitution, Pride marches in Latvia must be seen as unlawful and must not be permitted, because first of all, they are aimed against morality and the family model which exists in our nation and is enshrined in the fundamental law of the state, the Constitution,” the letter says.

“Homosexuality is against the natural order and, therefore, against the laws of God … homosexuals also claim unlawfully to have the rights of a minority.

“A minority is made up of those who are different from the majority of people because of nationality, language, race, skin colour and other neutral characterisations, but not of moral evaluation,” the letter continues.

“That means that there can be no minority of alcoholics, homosexuals, drug addicts or any other people if the minority is based on immoral inclinations. Otherwise this would be direct promotion of immorality.”

The Cardinal and priests argue that because it is impossible to permit “the homosexual march without violating the laws of the country,” foreigners who arrive for the march could instead be offered a conference hall in some Rîga hotel where they could organise “an interest club” without any disturbance to talk about those in Latvia who think as they do.

“A ban on the Pride would also cause these foreigners, who are so full of bravado, to think about the fact that they have no right to publicly propagandise perversion in Latvia and expect that this shameful behaviour is even protected by the police,” the letter states.

“This is humiliation to police officials who, against their conscience, are forced during the Pride event to stand with the gays. Even more, it would be humiliation for our government –and for the entire nation – if we were to feel captive in front of amoral pressure.

“A responsible decision from the men who are in power is expected by everyone who is concerned about the raising of young people – parents, teachers and clergymen,” the letter concludes.

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