Riga Pride and Friendship Days

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Riga Pride and Friendship Days are an annual event held in Riga, Latvia in support of raising issues of tolerance and the rights of sexual minorities in society. The main organiser is the Latvian NGO Mozaīka (Mosaic), and it is supported by ILGA-Europe.


The event originally began in 2005 under the name "Riga Pride", as the local equivalent to other Pride Parades held elsewhere around the world.[1]

Following public manifestations of homophobia surrounding the Riga Pride event in 2005,[2] some members of the LGBT community, their friends, and family members united to found the organisation Mozaīka[3] in an attempt to improve the understanding of, and tolerance for LGBT rights in Latvia.

From 2006, the event has been officially known as "Riga Pride and Friendship Days", expanding the programme include not just a parade, but also an ecumenical church service, and seminars on tolerance and LGBT rights.

In 2009 the gay march was allowed by Administrative Court of Riga.[4]

In 2012 400 LGBT people and straight allies marched in support of LGBT rights in Latvia, joining them were US diplomats showing support.[5]


Over the years, the event has been threatened by protests. In response to the activities of Mozaīka, an umbrella organisation for co-ordinating anti-LGBT rights activism in Latvia was formed in 2006.[6] In 2006, Riga City Council at first tried to refuse permission for the Pride Parade. Similar political debates surrounded the first Pride Parade in 2005.

The LGBT community in Latvia has been divided in its attitudes to the event. In a February 2007 survey of 537 LGBT persons by the organisation ILGA-Latvija, 82% of respondents said they were not in favour of holding the planned Riga Pride and Friendship Days 2007, while only 7% felt that these events would help promote tolerance against sexual minorities.[7] ILGA-Latvija, however, has since changed its stance and now is positive towards the Riga Pride and Friendship Days.

International support[edit]

Aside from ILGA-Europe, the event has also received consistent support from other LBGT organisations in neighbouring countries, most notably RFSL from Sweden and Amnesty International.


  1. ^ "Latvia gay pride given go-ahead". BBC News. 22 July 2005. 
  2. ^ "Protests disrupt Latvia gay march", bbc.co.uk, 23 July 2005.
  3. ^ Mozaīka English-language homepage
  4. ^ Gays Without Borders: Baltic Pride Saved After Court Lifts Council Ban
  5. ^ "News of the Day From Across the World". San Francisco Chronicle. 3 June 2012. p. A6. 
  6. ^ NoPride
  7. ^ ILGA-Latvia Survey Working Group, poll conducted 1-28 February 2007. From ILGA-Latvia website (Latvian) (accessed 13 May 2007).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]