An attempt by religious fanatics to disrupt a rally in support of Moldova’s LGBT community resulted in police tear gassing them.
According to this report the Orthodox Christian protesters unsuccessfully attempted to break through a police line set up to guard dozens off demonstrators who marched through Chisinau in yesterday’s rally against homophobia.
Video footage from the scene showed Orthodox activists rinsing their eyes with water after apparently being repelled by police.
Participants in the march were guarded by police escorts after a similar rally last year was halted by police to avert a confrontation with religious protesters,
At last year’s march, scores of participants were evacuated in buses by police after eggs and water were thrown at them by those attending a rival protest.
More than 20 Western embassies in Moldova – including those of the United States and numerous EU members – issued a statement of support for this year’s march two days prior to the event. The embassies said in a letter released by the rally’s organisers:
As the values of tolerance and respect for diversity are fundamental to open democratic societies, we recognise the right of LGBTI-persons and their supporters to conduct the Solidarity March … peacefully.
The Moldovan branch of Amnesty International last year accused President Igor Dodon, above, of violating the country’s constitution by saying that he was not the president of Moldovan gays.
Dodon told reporters when last year’s rally was cut short:
I have never promised to be the president of the gays, they should have elected their own president.
Dodon had criticised last year’s march before it was held, saying it promoted:
Actions [that] contradict our traditional values.
Dodon said ahead of this year’s march that “only normal families” have a place in Moldova.
Last year Mitropolit Vladimir, who heads Moldova’s Orthodox Church, praised Igor Dodon as “a true Christian”.
Dodon went on to become President of this godly but poor Eastern European republic and is now using his position to demonise the LGBT community.