LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

ILGA-Europe: adopt an inclusive anti-discrimination law, Moldova

Currently the Moldovan Parliament is debating an anti-discrimination law which in its current form provides protection against discrimination on various grounds, including sexual orientation. The draft law was approved by the Moldovan government and is now in the hands of parliamentarians.

The proposed law caused strong reactions and criticism from religious organisations, encouraged by right wing American evangelicals, who are calling for the rejection of the entire draft law labelling it as a ‘gay law’.

A number of parliamentarians are also calling for a deletion of sexual orientation from the draft law and are making hateful and openly homophobic statements.

Former interim president of Moldova and the leader of the Liberal Party Mihai Ghimpu has declared for the media today, that his party will not vote for the anti-discrimination law. “We are liberals, but we are healthy and we want a healthy family. Homosexuality is a deviation, nature is nature, but it doesn’t mean that we need to put them [homosexuals] in the forefront. We don't take patients from psychiatric institutions to bring them on our main square. With all the respect for them, I will not vote”.

Today a demonstration of 150 opponents of the anti-discrimination law took place outside the Moldovan Parliament under the slogan ‘homosexuals stay at home!’.

ILGA-Europe is seriously concerned about the increasingly volatile situation in Moldova: aggressive homophobic rhetoric by religious organisations and a number of parliamentarians already resulted in threats being made to the members of GenderDoc-M, the leading Moldovan LGBTI rights organisation. Alexei Marcicov, President of the organisation, was verbally abused and had stones thrown at him near his home. Other human rights defenders supporting the anti-discrimination law have been threatened on the streets and near their homes.

Linda Freimane, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board said:

“We are concerned with the situation in Moldova which is worsening with every day. There are serious concerns regarding growing homophobic sentiments and safety of LGBTI activists. ILGA-Europe calls on Moldovan politicians to immediately refrain from further incitement to hatred and act responsibly. It is their duty to protect all citizens from discrimination, particularly those who belong to marginalised and vulnerable communities.”

Martin K.I. Christensen, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, added:

“Moldova is under obligation to introduce comprehensive anti-discrimination law and protect its citizens from discrimination on any ground, including sexual orientation. Moldova committed to passing an anti-discrimination law protecting all minorities under its visa liberalisation agreement with the European Union and within the EU-Moldova Action Plan. We call on the EU to assert its position with the Moldovan authorities and hold them accountable under their obligations.

As a Council of Europe member state, Moldova has supported the adoption of the Council of Europe’s Recommendation to combating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, the United Nation’s Human Rights Committee called on Moldova to introduce such a law in 2009.”