Today is an important day for gay rights.
Washington, D.C., USA on 26 June 2013:
After two decisions by the US Supreme Court, one of which struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law which denied equal recognition to same-sex couples who had been married in states (both in and outside the USA) that allow such marriages, thousands of people celebrated outside of the US Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.
No one would have considered these celebrations to be dangerous or a threat to public order or safety.
In the other case, the Supreme Court opened the way for the State of California to resume gay marriages.
Vilnius, Lithuania on 26 June 2013:
On the same day, the City of Vilnius has again refused a request to hold the “Baltic Pride” march of LGBT and equality activists on the city’s main avenue, Gedimino prospektas, on 27 July 2013. The municipality cited security reasons and said that this street in Lithuania’s capital was too complicated to police for a march which had drawn a few hundred participants when it was last held here in 2010.
This comes in defiance of a first court case in the matter, which the City of Vilnius lost, and after the same municipality did not stop approximately 3,000 Neo-Nazis from marching on the same avenue on 11 March, and despite assurances by the police that they are ready to protect the march wherever it will be held.
Lithuania will assume the EU’s rotating presidency in 5 days. Meanwhile, a substantial number of Lithuania’s members of parliament have suggested to amend the constitution “to outlaw the propagation of homosexual relations” (whatever that is supposed to mean in practice).
Senegal on 26 June 2013:
President Obama heard the news of the US Supreme Court decisions while visiting Senegal, where homosexuality is a criminal offence, as it is in several African countries.
Living in Lithuania, it feels like we are closer to Africa than to the USA on some issues. Lithuanian legislators seem to have gotten their ideas from Africa, or from Russia at best.