Rīga sees biggest pride march so far

On Saturday, June 3, the Rīga Pride Week events culminated in what was estimated to have been the biggest pride march in Latvia so far.

More than five thousand people attended the pride march, Kaspars Zālītis, one of the organizers of the Riga Pride 2023, told LSM.

"This was the most spectacular march Rīga has had so far. Dozens of companies, organizations, diplomats, and most importantly thousands of happy people who stand for human rights. Riga Pride has shown itself to be one of the most unifying events in Rīga. Latvia's community has become more open and inclusive, unfortunately, politicians are still unable to adopt the framework of the Civil Union Law or to ratify the Istanbul Convention. Baltic Pride will return to Riga next year, bringing activists from the region to stand for the human rights of all people," said Kaspars Zālītis.

This year's pride slogans were 'We all are Latvia' and 'Mother Latvia loves all children'. LSM asked some of the participants what should be done in Latvia for it to become more LGBT-friendly, given that it is still among the lowest positions in the European Union when it comes to LGBT+ rights.

"Pass the civil union law finally, for everyone's sake. Comply with the Constitutional Court's decision and stop hiding behind the Constitution only when it's convenient."

"Adopt a legal framework protecting all families, so that they don't have to go to court every time."

"I very much hope our new president will have a say in bettering the situation."

"I just want our community to feel safe. So that we can have fun like today without anyone screaming at us."

The march had also gathered spectators along the route, most of whom had arrived to support the participants. Some had hung flags out their balconies. Only a handful were seen protesting against the event. 

One person was detained, according to the State Police. Two administrative cases were initiated against that person for starting an unauthorized protest and for non-compliance with the police's requests. Overall, there were no major incidents between the participants and the protesters.

The event continued with a concert at Vērmanes Garden. The garden is closed to the general public until the evening.


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