2006-07-28 14:10:00

Latvian president defends gays and lesbians

Riga, July 28, Interfax - Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga has come out in defense of sex minorities and called her fellow-citizens to show tolerance towards gays as one of the most important European values.

In an interview to the Austrian Die Presse published in part by the Lativan Chas on Friday, Vike-Freiberga said that at the time planned for a gay parade that never took place in Riga there were actions staged by some religious circles and ‘one Russian sect’ who ‘believe the non-traditional orientation to be a sin and protest against advertising such way of life and relations’.

‘I reminded our fellow-citizens that according to the Latvian Constitution, church is separated from state. The freedom of religion is certainly important but it remains a private affair of each person’, the Latvian president noted.

She also stressed that after Latvia joined the European Union, it has ‘also adopted the values of the European community’, which include tolerance towards sexual minorities.

‘It is unpleasant to see similar things (attacks on homosexuals - IF) in our country’, Vike-Freiberga remarked, adding with confidence that ‘such things cannot be justified’.