Anti-Gay Latvian Group Charges Blair With Interfering In Domestic Politics


Former American NFL Star Attends Anti-Gay Talks in Riga


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■  Igors Maslakovs, chair of "Stop Pride", who has written to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
File photo

RIGA, March 11, 2007  –  A letter of protest has been sent to British Prime Minister Tony Blair by the Latvian “No Pride” group, which organised the protest against Riga Gay Pride last year when demonstrators threw excrement at Pride participants.

Signed by Igors Maslakovs, the group’s chair, the letter accuses the United Kingdom of “interfering with Latvia’s internal politics”.

The government, the Mayor of London, and the UK Parliament, along with the Europe-wide ILGA-Europe NGO, are asked to “respect the views of the Latvian society” and their rights to self-determination and sovereignty.

“Propagating and supporting radical foreign groups with totalitarian characteristics you shamelessly breach the choice of citizens of the sovereign state of Latvia’s to live in free ad democratic nation. All such activities are criminally punishable in Latvia,” he writes in the “open letter” to Mr. Blair.

The letter comes as the gay prides of Riga and Latvia signed a ‘pact of cooperation’ on Thursday.

Also last week the former NFL player Ken Hutcherson (Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks) joined fellow American anti-gay human rights activist Scott Lively at a conference in Riga organised by Janis Vanags, Archbishop of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church, where leaders and representatives of all main denominations of Latvia met at the Consistory.

Janis Smits, chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights and Social Affairs Committee, Talivaldis Talbergs, president of the Latvian Christian radio, Inta Feldmane, MP, and Aina Krukle, representative of the Riga City Council and others also participated in this discussion.

According to the website (in Russian), “The US guests did not need introduction – their human rights and anti-gay movement activities widely known in Latvia”.

“It is a huge honour for me to be in such a company,” NewGeneration reported Mr. Hutcherson as telling the conference.

“I will try to be useful in resolving the problems which we all care about.  Homosexual pressure is experienced today by many countries.  Where the danger was not identified timely and the destructing forces of homosexuality were not evaluated timely, we see how homosexuality is spreading widely and becoming legal.

“There many countries on the world today where same-sex marriages are legalised, where same-sex adoption in possible, where education of a new generation is based on sexual diversity and family transformation.  We need to talk today about the fact that the people simple overlook how homosexuality step by step forcefully taking space,” Mr. Hutcherson is quoted as saying.

[Ken Hutcherson, who now runs the Antioch Bible Church in Seattle, persuaded Microsoft two years ago to withdraw its support for a Bill that would have made it illegal to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation.  He threatened to organise a boycott of Microsoft software; the Bill failed to pass by one vote.]

Full text of the open letter sent to the British Prime Minister by “No Pride”:

Protest against interfering with Latvia’s internal politics

On behalf of the organisation “No Pride” I am expressing protest to the UK parliament, Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, for interfering with the Latvia’s internal politics, propagating and supporting foreign radical groups with totalitarian characteristics and therefore breaching constitution of a sovereign state of Latvia and the choice of their citizens to live in a free and democratic country.

Each nation’s citizens have a right to choice a way their country develops and it is unacceptable that civil servants of the United Kingdom interfere with the Latvia’s internal affairs. We consider unacceptable London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s alongside organisation ILGA Europe actions supporting and escalating the conflict in the Latvian society between traditional values and supporters of homosexuals’ rights, by stating their support for Riga Pride 2007.   

We ask Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, ILGA Europe, LGTB people to respect the views of the Latvian society and their rights to self-determination and sovereignty. Propagating and supporting radical foreign groups with totalitarian characteristics you shamelessly breach the choice of citizens of the sovereign state of Latvia’s to live in free ad democratic nation. All such activities are criminally punishable in Latvia.

Article 99 of the Latvian constitution Charter VIII “Human Rights” guarantees us, the citizens of this nations:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”

And Article 100:

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression which includes the right to freely receive, keep and distribute information and to express their views. Censorship is prohibited.

I also want to draw your attention that Charter I Article 2:

“The sovereign power of the State of Latvia is vested in the people of Latvia.”

We ask you to respect the choice of the Latvian people, family tradition, religious believe, views and not to try to impose again yet another totalitarian regime.

Latvian people have expressed their views by adopting changes to Article 110 of the constitution:

“The State shall protect and support marriage – union between a man and a woman, the family, the rights of parents and rights of the child. The State shall provide special support to disabled children, children left without parental care or who have suffered from violence.”

Latvian people are very tolerant towards people of any race, nationality, but are not tolerant towards foreign threats and aggression. Just few years ago at the barricades the Latvian people fought for their freedom and paid with blood, these events are still in our memories, is therefore necessary to create a situation to repeat such events in our country?

We express our disappointment, shock and protest again the fact that the United Kingdom has departed from the democratic ideals and slipped into totalitarianism. The United Kingdom has already shamelessly breached human rights in regards to the censorship, freedom of religion, speech and conscience.

With respect,

Igors Maslakovs
Board Chair
Organisation “No Pride”


Posted: 12 March 2007 at 13:00 (UK time)