Igor Dodon, the President of Moldova, has publicly opposed his country’s LGBT solidarity march scheduled to take place on May 21 in the capital city of Chișinău.
“I am expressing my categorical position against holding an LGBT march. I informed the extraordinary and plenipotentiary U.S. ambassador to Moldova James Pettit that it is not only my personal position, but the position of the vast majority of Moldovan citizens,” Dodon wrote on his Facebook page.
“I very clearly stressed that such actions contradict our traditional values, Orthodox faith, and morals. They cannot be, and will be accepted neither by me personally nor by society as a whole.”
His statement follows the announcement of the fifth annual solidarity march “No Fear” in support of the LGBT community, organized by Information Center GENDERDOC-M. The march will close out the 16th Moldova Pride Festival on May 21.
Instead of supporting the solidarity march, Dodon has helped organize the Festival of the Family, “a number of activities to support and promote traditional family values” that will occur on the same day as the march in the Great National Assembly Square in Chișinău.
Moldova Pride 2017 runs from May 16-21 and has the goal of “increasing the respect and acceptance of LGBT persons in Moldova.” Dolon will not be attending the Pride festival, but U.S. Ambassador John Pettit and representatives from the Swedish and Dutch embassies were present at the opening ceremonies.
Homosexuality has been legal in Moldova since 1995, but Pride celebrations have been outlawed since 2007.
Last year’s LGBT march was interrupted by counter demonstrators—including Orthodox clergymen—shouting slurs and throwing eggs. The participants only managed to march five blocks before police shut down the event for fear of clashing with the protestors.
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