LGBT rights in Moldova

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LGBT rights in Moldova
Location Moldova Europe.png
Location of Moldova (green) – Transnistria (light green)
on the European continent (green + dark grey)
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)
Family rights
Recognition of
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][2]


Legality of homosexuality[edit]

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[edit]

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe
  Foreign marriages recognized
  Other type of partnership
  Unregistered cohabitation
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples

Includes laws that have not yet gone into effect.

No recognition with respect to same-sex marriage or civil unions is currently legal. Constitution bans same-sex marriage.[3]

Legal protections[edit]

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[4] and signed into law by the country's president Nicolae Timofti on May 28, 2012.[5] The law took effect on January 1, 2013.[6]

LGBT rights movement in Moldova[edit]

The main gay and lesbian campaigning group is called GenderDoc-M, which seeks to support gays and lesbians within Moldova.[7]

Social conditions[edit]

Gay culture[edit]

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,[7] but it was banned in 2007, because homosexuality is said to be undermining the Christian values of the country.[8]

Anti-LGBT sentiment[edit]

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.[7]

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.[9]

2008 Moldova Pride controversy[edit]

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.

A question has been lodged in the European Parliament and a letter expressing grave concern has been sent to then British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.[10][11]

Bans on propaganda of homosexuality[edit]

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:

Similar bans were also enacted in the following districts:

Similar provisions were enacted by following villages:

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.[15][16]

On 11 October 2013, the Parliament passed a bill intended to remove the content which could be interpreted as "homosexual propaganda" from the Code of Administrative Offences.[17][18]

UN Human Rights Council resolution[edit]

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.[19]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity made legal Yes Since 1995
Equal age of consent Yes Since 2002
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes Since 2013
Anti-discrimination laws in all areas, (including hate speech) No
Anti-discrimination laws on transgender identity or expression No
Recognition of same-sex unions No
Same-sex marriage No (Constitutional ban since 1994)
Both joint and step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Right to change legal gender Yes
Gays allowed to serve in the military Yes
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Intergroup reminds Moldova that Right to Freedom of Assembly is a prerequisite to EU accession, ILGA Europe
  2. ^ Moldova: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006, U.S. Department of State
  3. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Moldova
  4. ^ (Russian) Парламент принял в двух чтениях Закон об обеспечении равенства, отказавшись проводить процедуру поименного или тайного голосования, MoldNews
  5. ^ (Russian) Избранный президент Николае Тимофти промульгировал Закон об обеспечении равенства, Moldnews
  6. ^ (Moldovan) Proiectul legii cu privire la asigurarea egalității,
  7. ^ a b c Lesbian and Gay Moldova, Gay Times
  8. ^ Gay Pride banned despite court ruling, Pink News, 18 April 2007
  9. ^ "Spero NewsGay Rights At Center Stage In Battle Over Moldova Antidiscrimination Bill". Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Ban of the Gay Pride in Moldova, lack of police protection, violation of human rights
  11. ^ Re: Moldova Pride Sat 11 May 2008
  12. ^ "Moldova city bans 'gay propaganda'". Gay Star News. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Venice Commission :: Council of Europe". Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Moldova: Second largest city overturns local ban on 'gay propaganda'". PinkNews. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  15. ^ Michelle Garcia. "Moldova Secretly Enacts Propaganda Law Similar To Russia's". Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  16. ^ E-Li. "Moldovan LGBT Community Wake Up With A 'Gay Propaganda' Law Approved By Their Government - Lezbelib". Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  17. ^ "Moldova Rejects 'Gay Propaganda' Law". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Moldova cancels 'gay propaganda' ban, eyeing EU entry". Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "UN backs gay rights for first time ever". Retrieved 23 August 2015.