Moldova News & Reports 2009-11

1 Moldova Pride 2009 5/09

2 Ensuring freedom of assembly for LGBT people in Moldova and Ukraine 4/10

3 A gay committed suicide after talking to police 12/10

4 Rights Defender Condemns Visit By U.S. Antigay Activist 3/11

5 Homophobe Scott Lively Advocates for Anti-gay Legislation 3/11

6 Папа Римский и президенты США и Ирана попали в "зал позора" 3/11

7 Anti-gay Propagandist Heads to Moldova to Speak Against Rights Bill 10/11

8 Broaden Anti-Discrimination Bill 10/11

12 May 2009 –

Moldova Pride 2009

Maxim Anmeghichean and Beth Fernandez attended the “Rainbow over the Dniester” festival in Chisinau from 7-9 May 2009.

Due to the post election violence in the streets of Chisinau, the Board of GenderDoc-M took the decision to postpone the planned demonstration for the adoption of comprehensive anti discrimination law until 10 December on International Human Rights Day. The organizers believed that there was little chance that the police would adequately protect demonstrators and the risk of violence had increased after the events of April. In addition, the continuing absence of a confirmed government means that the key audience for such an action is not in place.

The above was explained to Moldovan journalists in a press-conference on May 5. The same press-conference was very well attended by the religious right – an organised opposition to the LGBT movement, who brought over to Moldova the infamous US homophobe Paul Cameron. Surprisingly (or not?), the latter was disappointed with the decision of the pride organisers to postpone the public manifestation – they were looking forward to organising counter-demonstrations again, and now were left without work.

The pride was well attended by activists from the entire former Soviet Union – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Belarus. The program included a round table on freedom of assembly, another round table on the perspectives of women’s movement, a series of workshops on patriarchy, psychology and art, and, of course, concerts and parties.

The panel of the round table on freedom of assembly included representatives of Moldovan mainstream human rights groups – Resource Centre for Human Rights NGOs CREDO and Amnesty International, as well as international expert and member of the OSCE expert committee on freedom of assembly Michael Hamilton. Having covered the ground of international standards, the situation in Moldova and actions in case of a problematic public manifestation, the floor was opened to the participants. They were most interested in defining public morality (the argument most commonly used in bans of prides in ex-USSR), alternative ways of public protest in situations where authorities ban events and the police does not offer proper protection, and shared their experiences of organising flash mobs.

Another interesting round table was held the following day on the perspectives of development of the women’s movement in the post-Soviet countries. The participants – mostly lesbian and bisexual women activists from the region – shared their experiences of working for the women’s communities and debated ways forward. It was noted particularly, that women’s component of “LGBT” is getting stronger by year, more visible, and needs more resources to carry out activities, so needed by the communities. A declaration was adopted by the end of the event – an address to governments and societies calling for more rights and acceptance.

On Saturday morning a group of about forty pride participants in a now established Pride tradition, laid flowers to the monument of the oppressed (erected on the place, where Jews were murdered by Nazis during the World War II). Even laying of flowers has been problematic for GenderDoc-M in the past: the way was always blocked by the police. Not this year. About 5 plain clothes policemen were there to film, nothing more, and even allowed Mr. Marcicov, the Chair of GenderDoc-M, to give a short inspiring speech. In a hostile Moldovan context, even the ability to lay flowers without problems at a monument on the outskirts of the city is seen as an important victory.

The ‘serious’ events were mixed with three parties on each of pride evenings. The opening ceremony on May 7 included awards to those, who have supported the movement over 2008: the most tolerant journalist, businessman, NGO leader. A mother received the award ‘For Courage’ – she is now completely isolated in her small village after everyone found out her son was gay, but did not disown him. The closing ceremony included the already traditional international beauty context for transvestites “Mrs. Flawless Queen”. The winner – Dana National from Ukraine.

Our gratitude goes to all the organisers and supporters of Moldovan Pride. It was a great experience, powerful in contents, but most importantly – in energy and synergy among people from all across the Newly Independent States… Looking forward to the next year!

April 28, 2010 – ILGA Europe

Ensuring freedom of assembly for LGBT people in Moldova and Ukraine

This May lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) organisations in Moldova and Ukraine are planning to hold public events. Today the court in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau ruled that the planned peaceful demonstration supporting adoption of anti-discrimination law can only take place in a park far from the city centre. The organisers, GenderDoc-M, plan to appeal this decision while rejecting the alternative location for their event. Following the court decision they have cancelled their original demonstration in the central square. The Mayor of Chisinau requested the court to ban the demonstration on the basis of public order and morality after receiving petitions from religious and other groups opposing the LGBT event.

The authorities in both countries have previously prevented GenderDoc-M (Moldova) and LiGA (Ukraine) from peacefully exercising their right to freedom of assembly by banning LGBT public events. The European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT rights, ILGA-Europe and Amnesty International jointly call on the authorities in Moldova and Ukraine to respect their obligations as Members of the Council of Europe and to ensure that LGBT people are guaranteed their right to freedom of assembly and fulfil their positive duty to protect the participants even if others oppose human rights for LGBT people. LGBT activists in Moldova have been banned from organising public events since 2005. In 2007, the Supreme Court of Moldova declared illegal the banning on a public LGBT event in 2006.

In 2009, all festival events, even those of a private nature, organised by LGBT activists in Nikolaev, Ukraine, were obstructed and banned by the city authorities. This year Nikolaev LGBT activists are planning a public event on the 16th of May. Freedom of assembly is a human right which is guaranteed by major international and European human rights instruments including: Article 21 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and Article 11 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This right is also protected in both countries’ constitutions (Article 39, Constitution of Ukraine, and Article 40, Constitution of Moldova).

The established case-law of the European Court of Human Rights on freedom of assembly has been affirmed in relation to LGBT people and the Court said that violating the right of assembly on the grounds of sexual orientation is discriminatory. The Court affirmed that the freedom of expression extends not only to the ideas and views of the majority, but also to those belonging to minorities or those that may cause shock, disagreement and opposition. Moreover, the Court has consistently ruled that if there is a risk of violence from counter-demonstrators, the state has a positive duty to protect demonstrators.

In March 2010, the governments of both, Moldova and Ukraine, approved the Council of Europe’s Recommendations on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. These Recommendations reaffirm the obligation on the Member States of the Council of Europe to ensure ‘that the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, as enshrined in Article 11 of the Convention, can be effectively enjoyed, without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.’ Both countries are establishing closer links with the European Union under the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy. Accordingly, they must demonstrate a willingness to promote and protect the EU’s fundamental rights principles.

December 10, 2010 –
Russian to English translation

In Moldova, a gay committed suicide after talking to police

On December 6, 2010, a young man 27 years old, a single-parent, committed suicide after talking to police. Consequence has not yet found the true causes of suicide and, judging by the statements of police officers are unlikely to do it. But we, the staff of the Centre GenderDoc-M would like to clarify that the tragic events preceded the wrongful attitude of law enforcement bodies of sexual minorities – according to a press release from the Moldovan organization Gender Doc-M.

The night before, two peace officers, including one with a gun in his hand did not identify, while the other showed the certificate in the name of Sergio Gaina, brought the two young men out of the closet, something a long conversation with them, and then the four of us went to his patrol car. On the way they were joined by the Center for GenderDoc-M, which was at work pleshka (public meeting place for gay men). In his story, armed police had behaved arrogantly, let go of derogatory phrases against homosexuals and their personal lives – they write the representatives of the Moldovan organization.

"We do not know how much it lasted, if the situation did not intervene chairman of the Center GenderDoc-M Alex Marchkov. After a telephone conversation with one of the policemen were released, but do not forget to record their personal details and places of work in a notebook.

It’s no secret that gay men are often faced with arrogant attitudes and blackmail by the police. Guardians know about a meeting place of gay men and, using his official position, putting pressure on them: blackmail, extort money, not to mention insults, threats, intimidation and other illegal activities. We have repeatedly appealed to the Interior Ministry and the General Police, but no response from the officials did not arrive. Moreover, once the police know that to them by representatives of sexual minorities and their relation to his duties changed dramatically. A country’s leadership apparently does not bother organized system of extortion "- note the staff LGBT organization.

Recall that the Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova article about the criminalization of homosexuality was removed in 1995. To date, we have come to adopt a law on non-discrimination. Thus, we demonstrate its commitment to European integration, although in fact act contrary to the generally accepted European standards.

March 09, 2011 – Radio Free Europe

Moldovan Rights Defender Condemns Visit By U.S. Antigay Activist

Chistnau – A Moldovan human rights defender has condemned a recent visit to Chisinau by a leading American antigay activist and his statements against the homosexual community, RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service reports. Iulia Marcinschi, a leader of Moldova’s Antidiscrimination Coalition, told RFE/RL today that Scott Lively’s remarks in Chisinau last week constitute hate speech and should be condemned by the authorities. During his visit, Lively said ending discrimination against gays would be the first step towards the "homosexualization" of society and would be followed by granting gay people the right to marry and adopt children.

Lively, who made trips to Uganda in 2009 when it was drafting some of the toughest antigay legislation in the world, was invited to Moldova by two local Orthodox Christian organizations, Pro Familia and Moldova Crestina.

Those groups oppose government efforts to pass an antidiscrimination bill required by the European Union as part of an association agreement Chisinau hopes to sign with Brussels. The antidiscrimination bill contains a "sexual orientation" clause, which has angered conservative groups in Moldova.
The draft bill was approved by the government on February 17 but still needs to be passed by the parliament.
This week, leading members of parliament said they will not consider discussing the bill until the "sexual orientation" reference is removed. The bill was also condemned by Moldova’s Orthodox Church, which has called on parliament to reject it.

Vitalie Marian, vice president of Pro Familia, told RFE/RL today that he completely agreed with Lively’s views and that he is pleased with the results of his visit and would invite him again "anytime." Moldovan authorities have not commented publicly on Lively’s trip or his comments. But human rights activist Marcinschi said the Education Ministry replied to a February 24 letter from a gay rights organization sent before Lively’s visit. In it, the ministry promised to prevent him from speaking at schools in the event that he had plans to do that.

Lively’s only public appearance in Chisinau was a press conference on February 28 with local antigay activists at the headquarters of the InfoPrim Neo news agency.

March 14, 2011 – Warren Throckmorten

Homophobe Scott Lively Advocates for Anti-gay Legislation in Moldova

When the Moldovan government submitted a draft anti-discrimination law to parliament last month, conservative Orthodox Christian forces in the country treated it as a call to battle. And that call was heeded by U.S. pastor and lawyer Scott Lively, who traveled to Chisinau to warn the country against adopting any measure that would bar discrimination against homosexuals.

The bill outlaws discrimination against anyone on the basis of religion, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, color, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, political opinion, or social status. It was proposed as part of Moldova’s effort to gain an association agreement with the European Union. The controversial Lively believes homosexuality is a lifestyle choice with dire social consequences and has made a career in recent years campaigning against gay rights around the world. His website claims he has spoken in more than 30 countries.

“I’ve been dealing with these laws all over the world and I recognize — as I said there in the lectures I gave and the media interviews that I gave — an anti-discrimination law based on sexual orientation is the seed that contains the entire tree of the homosexual political agenda with all of its poisonous fruit,” Lively tells RFE/RL, “and that, if you allow an anti-discrimination policy to go into effect, it essentially puts the power of the law and the government into the hands of gay activists and makes people who disapprove of homosexuality criminals.” Mainstream science rejects the notion that sexual orientation is a matter of personal choice.

See this report and comments here.

28 March 2011 –

Папа Римский и президенты США и Ирана попали в "зал позора"

Папа Римский Бенедикт XVI, американский президент Джордж Буш, президент Ирана Махмуд Ахмадинежад , министр просвещения Польши Роман Гертых и филиппинский депутат Бинвенидо Абанте были включены в так называемый "зал позора" ("hall of shame") международной правозащитной организацией "Human Rights Watch".

Правозащитники публикуют подобный список каждый год в Международный день противостояния гомофобии, который отмечается 17 мая.

Люди, попавшие в "зал позора", "нарушают права человека, активно продвигая предрассудки в отношении лесбиянок, геев, бисексуалов и транссексуалов". В прошлом году в список был включён мэр Москвы Юрий Лужков.

По словам руководителя программы по соблюдению прав ЛГБТ в рамках "Human Rights Watch" Скотта Лонга, в "зал позора" включены не самые худшие противники гей-прав.

Мы выдвинули на первый план тех лидеров, которые пользуются своей властью, чтобы противостоять основным правам человека, – говорит Скотт Лонг. – Буш и Римский Папа говорят о человеческом достоинстве, но их гомофобные речи и действия подрывают семьи и подвергают опасности здоровье.

По мнению "Human Rights Watch", поддерживаемые американским президентом программы по борьбе со СПИДом угрожают здоровью геев и лесбиянок, поскольку одна треть денег тратится на так называемую программу "воздержание до брака", что, естественно, не касается ЛГБТ. Стоит отметить, что подобная программа действует и в столице России.

Филиппинский депутат Абанте призывает исключить ЛГБТ из определения права человека, а также предлагает гомосексуалов "превращать в гетеросексуалов".

Польский министр Гертых недавно выступил с инициативой принятия закона, согласно которому учителей будут наказывать за то, что они разговаривают с учениками о геях и лесбиянках.

October 18, 2011 – SPLC

Anti-gay Propagandist Heads to Moldova to Speak Against Rights Bill

by Evelyn Schlatter
Paul Cameron , a virulently anti-gay and roundly discredited psychologist whose membership in the American Psychological Association (APA) was revoked in the early 1980s amid an investigation that he violated professional ethics , is on his way to Moldova next week to speak against proposed anti-discrimination legislation that would protect LGBT people. The legislation will be voted on at the end of this month. It’s the third time in the past three years that Cameron will visit the country. Angela Frolov, head of GenderDoc-M, Moldova’s main LGBT rights group, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that Cameron addressed university students on his first two visits, in 2008 and 2009.

Cameron was invited this time by an organization called the Alliance to Save the Family in Moldova, which refers to him as a “U.S. sociologist.” Cameron did try to be a sociologist after the APA banned him, but the American Sociological Association formally disassociated from him in 1986 in a resolution stating that he is not a sociologist and that the association “condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research.” The Nebraska Psychological Association and the Canadian Psychological Association also adopted resolutions that disassociate themselves from Cameron’s research and his claims about LGBT people and sexuality.

Nevertheless, the Moldovan organization that has invited him says he “will share the U.S. experience in implementing anti-discrimination legislation” and there will be a roundtable discussion with representatives from various parliamentary committees, ministries and “other institutions of the state.” The anti-discrimination law was proposed in February of this year, as part of Moldova’s efforts to get an association agreement from the European Union. The country, one of the poorest in Europe, is mired in foreign debt and high unemployment. In spite of that, or perhaps because of it, Moldova is proving fertile ground for American anti-gay activists.

Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively , head of Abiding Truth Ministries , traveled there earlier this year to work against the anti-discrimination bill. According to Lively, anti-discrimination legislation is “the seed that contains the entire tree of the homosexual agenda, with all its poisonous fruit.” Lively also traveled to Uganda in 2009 to speak to members of parliament there and hold seminars about the evils of homosexuality. After his visit, the so-called “kill the gays bill” was proposed, in which people could be executed for homosexuality under certain conditions.

Cameron, who founded the Family Research Institute in Colorado Springs, has been peddling dubious research and falsehoods about homosexuality for the last three decades. He has called for the criminalization of homosexuality, called AIDS a “godsend” and repeatedly linked homosexuality to pedophilia. He has also claimed that LGBT people don’t live as long as straight people and that children raised by homosexuals experience sexual violence and emotional disturbances, all claims that continue to percolate throughout the anti-gay right in this country and now, apparently, are finding new audiences elsewhere.

October 21, 2011 – Human Rights Watch

Broaden Anti-Discrimination Bill – Law Should Cover Gender Identity

(Amsterdam) – The Moldovan government’s draft anti-discrimination law would provide a range of important protections, but it should be broadened to include gender identity, Human Rights Watch said today. The proposed law, which would provide protection on the basis of sexual orientation, is to be discussed in parliament shortly. “Leaving a vulnerable group like transgender people out of this key law risks leaving them unprotected in their daily lives,” said Boris Dittrich, advocacy director for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights at Human Rights Watch. “The importance of specifying gender identity for protection from discrimination is well recognized in human rights law and should be a specific protected ground. Including gender identity in the new law would send a message that equality is truly for everyone.”

If the new law does not include gender identity as a specific protected ground, it would be virtually impossible for Moldova to monitor and redress any direct or indirect discrimination on the basis of gender identity, Human Rights watch said. In its general comment No. 20, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights says, “Gender identity is recognized as among the prohibited grounds of discrimination; for example, persons who are transgender, transsexual or intersex often face serious human rights violations, such as harassment in schools or in the workplace.”

The principle of non-discrimination on the basis of gender identity is also part of more specialized human rights conventions. The UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) contains such a clause in article 2. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has clarified in a general recommendation that “discrimination of women based on sex and gender is inextricably linked with other factors that affect women, such as … sexual orientation and gender identity.… States Parties must legally recognize and prohibit such intersecting forms of discrimination and their compounded negative impact on women concerned.” Adding “gender identity” to the enumeration of non-discrimination grounds in the new Moldovan law would help ensure that Moldova fulfills its obligations under these treaties, which it has ratified, Human Rights Watch said.