LGBT activists in Moldova have reason to celebrate. Yesterday the European Court of Human Rights issued its ruling in favor of the GENDERDOC-M Information Center, an LGBT advocacy organization, who were banned from holding an anti-discrimination rally in May of 2005. The Court found that the Moldovan government had violated Articles 11 (freedom of assembly), 13 (right to an effective remedy), and 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights. Damages were awarded in the amount of 11,000 Euros, which the government must pay within three months to avoid penalties.
However, this ruling comes just two weeks after Moldova’s Parliament passed the woefully inadequate “Law of Equal Opportunities” (text in Romanian and Russian only), which defines marriage DOMA-style and excludes sexual orientation from almost all categories of protection (only discrimination in employment is banned). Homophobic remarks on television by the Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament just before passage of the law indicate that improvements to it are likely to take some time.
Meanwhile GENDERDOC-M continues its work both domestically and internationally. They are currently bringing their second case before the ECHR.