LGBT rights in Moldova
|LGBT rights in Moldova|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Yes, since 1995|
|Gender identity/expression||Yes, right to change legal gender|
|Military service||Gays and lesbians allowed to serve|
|Discrimination protections||Sexual orientation protections in employment (see below)|
|No recognition of same-sex relationships.|
|Same-sex marriage constitutionally banned.|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Moldova may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Moldova has come increasingly under the influence of the Orthodox Christian church. It has also been marred by human rights violations against the freedom of association for LGBT to have Gay Pride demonstrations.
- 1 Issues
- 2 LGBT rights movement in Moldova
- 3 Social conditions
- 4 Summary table
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
Legality of homosexuality
Since 1995, homosexuality between consenting adults in private has been legal in Moldova. In September 2002 new laws were introduced equalising the age of consent.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
For a long time, a large coalition of human rights organisations, including Information Centre GenderDoc-M, was lobbying the government for implementation of anti-discrimination legislation in line with European standards, which would include sexual orientation as one of protected grounds.
A bill, which bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, was adopted by the Moldavian Parliament on 25 May 2012 and signed into law by the country's president Nicolae Timofti on May 28, 2012. The law took effect on January 1, 2013.
LGBT rights movement in Moldova
The main gay and lesbian campaigning group is called GenderDoc-M, which seeks to support gays and lesbians within Moldova.
Moldova has a rather small but lively and open-minded gay scene. Chisinau's first gay club – Jaguar Dance and Music Club—opened in 2009. Moldova’s first Gay Pride was held in April 2002, but it was banned in 2007, because homosexuality is said to be undermining the Christian values of the country.
Moldovan society still remains very homophobic. For example, virulent homophobic statements are casually made by politicians and lesbians and gays are routinely discriminated against. Violence towards the gay community is not unknown.
Scott Lively, a vociferous opponent of gay rights who has linked homosexuality to having played a part in the spawning of the Rwandan Genocide and the Holocaust, visited Moldova in 2010 to oppose an anti-discrimination measure. The bill had passed through committee twice before stalling subsequent to opposition from the Communist Party of Moldova, which cited Lively's visit as a reason for its opposition.
2008 Moldova Pride controversy
On 11 May 2008, the police and authorities stood by as the Moldova Pride Parade was prevented by crowds who surrounded and intimidated parade participants by surrounding the Pride bus. The Mayor of Chisinau, Dorin Chirtoaca, whose campaign slogan was "a young mayor, a liberal team, a European capital", had banned the parade the evening before.
Bączkowski and Others v. Poland (3 May 2007) was the case in which the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that by banning the parade the then Mayor of Warsaw, Lech Kaczyński, had broken three articles of the European Convention of Human Rights: article 11: the freedom of assembly, article 13 the right to appeal and, by allowing others to assemble when lesbian and gay people were not, were also in breach of article 14, which outlaws discrimination.
Bans on propaganda of homosexuality
Since 2012, several cities have enacted bans on "propaganda" of homosexuality (which do not include any kind of administrative sanctions or fines). These cities are:
- Bălți, enacted on 23 February 2012, struck down on 28 February 2013
- Drochia, enacted 27 March 2012
- Cahul, enacted 29 March 2012
- Ceadîr-Lunga, enacted 10 April 2012
- Glodeni, later repealed
- Rîşcani, later repealed
Similar bans were also enacted in the following districts:
Similar provisions were enacted by following villages:
- Bocani, later repealed
- Chetriş, repealed on 22 February 2012
- Pîrliţa, later repealed
On 30 April 2013, the parliament of Gagauzia approved a bill to forbid the "propaganda" of homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism such as same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. The bill didn't include any kind of administrative sanctions or fines but some of its provisions banned any LGBT-related organizations from being registered in the region. Another provision was intended to ban any LGBT-related clubs and entertainment establishments. On 20 June 2013, these provisions were invalidated by a court decision leaving in force the ban on same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples, prohibited throughout the country.
On 23 May 2013, despite the anti-discrimination law which prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, the parliament of Moldova passed a bill which bans the propaganda of prostitution, pedophilia and "any other relations than those related to marriage and family in accordance with the Constitution and the Family Code". The bill also included fines. The bill was signed into law on 5 July 2013 and came into effect on 12 July 2013. The law does not explicitly prohibit the "propaganda" of homosexuality, but it could be interpreted as such by the judges.
UN Human Rights Council resolution
In June 2011, Moldova used its seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council to vote against the first successful UN resolution condemning discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
|Same-sex sexual activity made legal||Since 1995|
|Equal age of consent||Since 2002|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment||Since 2013|
|Anti-discrimination laws in all areas, (including hate speech)|
|Anti-discrimination laws on transgender identity or expression|
|Recognition of same-sex unions|
|Same-sex marriage||(Constitutional ban since 1994)|
|Both joint and step-child adoption by same-sex couples|
|Right to change legal gender|
|Gays allowed to serve in the military|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|
|Access to IVF for lesbians|
|MSMs allowed to donate blood|
- Intergroup reminds Moldova that Right to Freedom of Assembly is a prerequisite to EU accession, ILGA Europe
- Moldova: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, U.S. Department of State
- Constitution of the Republic of Moldova
- (Russian) Парламент принял в двух чтениях Закон об обеспечении равенства, отказавшись проводить процедуру поименного или тайного голосования, MoldNews
- (Russian) Избранный президент Николае Тимофти промульгировал Закон об обеспечении равенства, Moldnews
- (Moldovan) Proiectul legii cu privire la asigurarea egalității, Parlament.md
- Lesbian and Gay Moldova, Gay Times
- Gay Pride banned despite court ruling, Pink News, 18 April 2007
- "Spero NewsGay Rights At Center Stage In Battle Over Moldova Antidiscrimination Bill". Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- Ban of the Gay Pride in Moldova, lack of police protection, violation of human rights
- Re: Moldova Pride Sat 11 May 2008
- "Moldova city bans 'gay propaganda'". Gay Star News. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "Venice Commission :: Council of Europe". Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "Moldova: Second largest city overturns local ban on 'gay propaganda'". PinkNews. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- Michelle Garcia. "Moldova Secretly Enacts Propaganda Law Similar To Russia's". Advocate.com. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- E-Li. "Moldovan LGBT Community Wake Up With A 'Gay Propaganda' Law Approved By Their Government - Lezbelib". Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "Moldova Rejects 'Gay Propaganda' Law". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "Moldova cancels 'gay propaganda' ban, eyeing EU entry". Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "UN backs gay rights for first time ever". Retrieved 23 August 2015.