2008-08-07 14:17:00

Kaunas authorities ban gay and lesbian festival

Vilnius, August 7, Interfax - Leaders of the local governance of the Lithuanian town Kaunas didn't permit participants in the Europride European festival to set up a camp in the city center.

"Application for the event was submitted too late," such official reason for the refusal was voiced by deputy director of the city administration Zenonas Abramavicius and cited by the Lietuvos Rytas paper on Thursday.

According to the edition, city mayor Andrius Kupcinskas confessed he had recommended his subordinates not to give such permission primarily because its organizers planned to hold the festival at the square in front of the Carmelite church.

Hierarchs of the prevailing in Lithuania Catholic Church and major part of the believers are negative about homosexuals. City leaders believe that homosexual event near the church may cause protests of residents and unpredictable incidents.

Earlier Vilnius mayor Juozas Imbrasas also rejected a request of the European Commission representation in Lithuania to permit gay event in city central square.