Posts Tagged 'Moldova'

Calling for Basic Freedoms of Speech and Assembly for LGBT Moldovan Citizens

On July 3, thirty members of the United States House of Representatives—both Republican and Democrat—sent letters to Moldova’s Prime Minister and to the President of the Moldovan Parliament. This bipartisan letter expressed concern about a number of recent events that display a disrespect of basic freedoms of speech and assembly for LGBT Moldovan citizens. In June, the Law on Ensuring Equality, the anti-discrimination bill that has been under preparation since 2008,  was stripped of sexual orientation in its final version and a provision defining marriage as between a man and a woman was inserted. Furthermore, the Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament has made a litany of homophobic and derogatory public statements about LGBT people as explanation for the changes in the legislation, and for which Moldovan civil society has demanded an apology .

In the months prior to the legislation, a dozen municipalities and provinces passed identical declarations that call for special zones of support for the Moldovan Orthodox Church and a variety of prohibitions on freedom of assembly and speech by LGBT Moldovan citizens. The Council for Global Equality continues to bring the attention of U.S. policy makers to the disturbing trend in many former Soviet republics towards restricting basic freedoms of assembly and speech, and the rising homophobia in the region.

Related: ILGA-Europe and ICJ’s recent report on “Homosexual Propaganda” Bans

U.S. Amb. Ian Kelly Statement On LGBT Rights In Russian Federation And Moldova

US Ambassador Ian Kelly, OSCEGeneva, Switzerland
Ambassador Ian Kelly

March 22, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

We take this moment to subscribe to the joint statement of Canada, Iceland, Switzerland, and Norway delivered at the Permanent Council on March 15, which articulated concerns about the newly adopted legislation in St. Petersburg, Russia, banning “public action aimed at propagandizing sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism, and transgenderism among minors,” as well as the recent administrative decisions in several Moldovan municipalities which aim to prohibit the promotion of “non-traditional sexual orientations” and to prohibit “homosexual demonstrations.”

We are concerned when institutionally adopted decisions and legislative initiatives purposely attempt to discriminate against certain groups. The St. Petersburg legislation and the Moldovan administrative decisions violate the fundamental freedoms of persons on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. They are at odds with regional and international human rights standards, including the 1990 Copenhagen Document, which lays the foundation for our collective OSCE commitments on nondiscrimination.

For over twenty years, the OSCE has worked determinedly to combat all forms of discrimination, underscoring the vital role that tolerance and understanding play in achieving and preserving stable democratic societies. In 2009, we took an important step forward when we committed to the Athens Ministerial Decision on Combating Hate Crimes, which further developed OSCE principles on tolerance and non-discrimination and created new commitments for participating States on hate crimes. This decision recognized that “manifestations of discrimination and intolerance threaten the security of individuals and societal cohesion.”

We note further that recently, the United Nations Human Rights Council held its first dedicated discussion on the issue of discrimination and violence on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. In a moving speech to the Council on March 7th, UN Secretary-General Ban observed that “discrimination directed at people just because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender . . . is also a violation of international law.” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also noted that laws that criminalize same-sex relations, or contain vague prohibitions that are applied in a discriminatory way to prosecute lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people not only breach international human rights law, but also cause unnecessary suffering, reinforce stigma, fuel violence and undermine efforts to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS.

In light of the wide-ranging OSCE commitments described above to which all participating States have agreed, we urge relevant authorities in Russia and Moldova to reverse these actions.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Gay Rights At Center Stage In Battle Over Moldova Antidiscrimination Bill

repost from http://www.rferl.org | By Mircea Ticudean, Robert Coalson

An antidiscrimination bill in Moldova has become a bone of contention between religious conservatives and gay-rights activists. And the bill’s opponents have brought in some controversial figures from the U.S. religious right to bolster their arguments.

When the Moldovan government submitted a draft antidiscrimination law to parliament last month, conservative Orthodox Christian forces in the country treated it as a call to battle.

And that call was heeded by U.S. pastor and lawyer Scott Lively, who traveled to Chisinau to warn the country against adopting any measure that would bar discrimination against homosexuals.

The bill outlaws discrimination against anyone on the basis of religion, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, color, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, political opinion, or social status. It was proposed as part of Moldova’s effort to gain an association agreement with the European Union. Continue reading

Two Influential Americans Make Separate Visits to Europe’s Poorest Nation

repost from Human Rights First

This past week, the former Soviet republic of Moldova received visits from two high-profile Americans.

One of the visitors was Joe Biden, the Vice President of the United States. He engaged Moldova’s leaders on future cooperation and the development of democratic institutions, and discussed the role of anti-Jewish pogroms and the Holocaust in the history of Moldova.

The other visitor came with a very different kind of appeal for greater U.S.-Moldovan cooperation. His name is Scott Lively, and the kind of “antigay rights” cooperation he envisions is antithetical to the public message of the U.S. government (albeit not voiced publicly during the Vice President’s trip to Moldova), which for the past two years has been telling the world that gay rights are human rights.

Scott Lively is known in the United States for being outspoken against homosexuality and “the LGBT lobby,” as well as occasional Holocaust revisionism. While his message has had increasingly less traction at home in the United States, Lively has emerged as a tireless international campaigner against the “threat” of homosexuality faced by other nations, from Russia to Uganda—and now to Moldova. Continue reading


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