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EuroPride 2015: ALDE4Equality advocates LGBTI rights in Riga


19 Jun 2015


Europe's East
Social Europe & Jobs
MEPs Sophie In' t Veld and Izaskun Bilbao, vice-presidents of the ALDE Group, will be in Riga this weekend to join the Europride 2015 and meet key players in the field of LGBTI rights. 
Sophie In' t Veld MEP commented: " We will go to Riga, the capital of diversity, to take stock of the very positive changes that have happened in the field of LGBTI rights during the last decade. I was in Riga in 2006, when the pride was banned by the authorities and its participants were attacked. Nine years later, Riga can be proud to be the host of the Europride 2015." 
During the two-day official visit, the ALDE4Equality delegation will meet representatives from NGOs and civil organisations whose members are in some countries risking their lives in their fight for the respect for LGBTI rights. This is the first time that the event takes place on the European Union's eastern border with Russia. 
Sophie In' t Veld added: "EU Member States have made important progress in the field in recent years, including the adoption of same-sex marriage and child adoption laws for same-sex couples. But unfortunately, Gay Prides are not peaceful events everywhere. Some member states have adopted Putin-style anti-LGBTI laws. In several member states there is still widespread prejudice against LGBTI people, in many cases resulting in hatred, discrimination and violence. ALDE4Equality cannot remain silent, time has shown that our fight is and will be fruitful". 
Izaskun Bilbao MEP commented: "ALDE's presence in Riga is a way to reclaim the EU as the land of freedoms and equal rights that it is. We are here to show our support and our solidarity with all those whose are seeing their freedom cut back. We support all those activists who have fought to improve LGBTI people's lives. We hope our message arrives to those neighbouring countries where LGBTI rights are violated. These violations show that authoritarianism and prejudice are not compatible with freedom".  
Note to editors
ALDE4Equality supports, gives visibility and helps securing LGBTI prides, marches and events in the EU and neighbouring countries. It advocates for human rights and equality of LGBTI people across the EU and beyond, fostering changes through national and European legislation. Since 2005 ALDE members have participated in Gay Pride marches across Europe to show support and solidarity with LGBTI campaigners in countries where homophobia is very present and the authorities are obstructing and opposing the rights movement. ALDE will also reiterate in Riga its call for an EU Road Map for LGBTI rights, which Liberal Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourova has committed to.
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