Moldova - Representatives of civil society and the church disrupted a sexual minority march in Chisinau on Sunday.
Several LBGT community activists gathered in one of the central streets of Chisinau near a monument to Komsomol members. They unfolded posters, rainbow-colored flags and flags of Moldova, Poland and other countries. They gay activists intended to march on Grigore Vieru Boulevard.
However, representatives of the church and their supporters who oppose same-sex relationships prevented the march from taking place. The activists, who were carrying flags in the form of St. George stripes, and several priests carrying icons stood not far from the LGBT activists to prevent them from marching.
To prevent clashes, policemen in protective helmets holding shields and clubs stood between the two groups. The number of the police officers by far exceeded the number of protesters on both sides. Representatives of sexual minorities got into buses and left under the protection of the police. After that, the priests served a brief service, after which the protesters left.
Anastasia Danilova, executive director of the information center on LGBT rights, told reporters the protesters' slogan was expected to be "Because I live here."
"We want to draw the attention of the public to the fact that LGBT cannot be ignored because we are part of society. We live here, we are the same citizens, we work and pay taxes, like everyone else," she said.
Cultural and entertainment events, a charity fair and a fundraising events for stray dogs were held at the LGTB festival, Danilova said.
"The culmination of the festival is the equality march, which is timed to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which is marked on May 17, "Danilova said.
Swedish Ambassador in Moldova Igrid Tersman, who was present at the LGBT event, thanked both the representatives of the sexual minorities who intended to conduct the march and the police who prevented confrontation. She said on social networking sites that Moldova had remembered victims of homophobia and discrimination."