LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

EuroPride 2015: Latvia turning its face towards equality

On 20 June 2015, the Latvian capital of Riga hosted EuroPride, becoming the first former USSR country to do so.

ILGA-Europe congratulate the organisers of this historic and successful event which brought together 5,000 people from across the continent. This year’s Europride took place in a truly festive and celebratory atmosphere, without any significant incidents. 

We welcome this positive change in Latvia which now fully guarantees and ensures the freedom of assembly to LGBTI people and their supporters and properly protects their public events. We are particularly encouraged by the fact that the EuroPride March witnessed an increased number of supporters of LGBTI equality. Two members of the Latvian Parliament, numerous representatives of civil society organisations, cultural groups and a notable number of young people joined the March on the streets of Riga. 

ILGA-Europe calls upon the Latvian politicians to reflect on this positive shift within wider society in Latvia and to fully embrace LGBTI equality. Latvia is currently debating a gender neutral cohabitation law which is being championed by some mainstream politicians and gaining wider public support. 
Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said: “Together with our friends across Europe, we celebrate the success of EuroPride 2015 in Riga. The positive changes taking place in Latvia are encouraging. The Latvian people have sent a clear and strong message to the politicians - society is most definitely ready for change. It’s time for the politicians to fulfil their role to serve the needs of society rather than prescribe and define how people should organise their lives. The time for a gender neutral cohabitation law is now.”