Thursday, May 14, 2009

Riga City Council restricts everyone's freedom

I think one can look at the ban on the planned  Baltic Pride in Riga as a direct attack on the freedom of choice of everyone in Latvia, regardless of their feelings about gay rights. In fact, one could paste over the issue with asterisks to make the point more directly. Say, the Riga City Council has banned ********.  No one will ever know what ******** is, because it is banned. Citizens no longer have the choice or option to know what ******** is.
Of course, almost everyone knows that the Pride march has been banned, but the effect of this is that no one has the individual freedom to chose to 1) attend and support 2) watch from curiousity 3) go and protest or 4) ignore the whole thing.  That means that everyone' s freedom has been diminished by the actions of an allegedly democratic city government.
We forget too often that the other side of the freedom of speech and assembly is the right of all adult people to freely pick and choose their "informational environment" from a range of choices that is not limited by state interference.
Banning the Baltic Pride in Riga directly violates the specific right to free speech and assembly of the LGBT community and organizations, whose causes may be of no interest to many other Latvians. But the ban also diminishes everyone' s freedom of choice and opens the way for the local and national governments to take even more choices away from the people. First we say you shall not be informed about ********. Next it will be ########.  Does anyone, other than the elected products of a warped homo-postsovieticus society want this?


Veiko Spolitis said...

#### Riga City Council and their boorish majority who suffers endemic inferiority complex!

Talis said...

The dweebs that "arranged" the re-call and managed to ban the Pride event are doing this for VOTES!! Elections are so close and there is no clear front runner (us usual). But there is a HUGE electorate base of homo-phoebes. Here is a good example of MOST Latvians that I know. This is a conversation with my co-worker yesterday (he is an vocal catholic, but from his daily behavior, you would never know..):

c.w.- GOOD, they banned the Pride event.
me - why are you concerned.
c.w. - cuz they all should be shot!
me - what have they ever done to you?
c.w. - nothing.
me - so WHY are concerned even? why are you against them?
c.w. - it is the principle of their existence. They should be shot!
me - do you even know any gay's? Have they done something to you?
c.w. - don't know any, don't wanna know any, just shoot them.

Unfortunately this is the view of MANY individuals in Latvia. An those friggin candidates are trying to get their votes by banning the event.
Latvians have soooo many phobias because of the lack of information, lack of experience and the iron veil thas was cast on them during the soviet era. There are still many that think that democracy is not a good thing and would like to see some sort of authoritarian regime in power. Just NOT the one we have right now. But give them what they want and it will be again - oh just not THIS one!!

Lingüista said...

I suppose what they need is time and experience. After all, there also was a time when a Gay Pride Parade would not have been allowed in the West, and when the majority of people in the West would consider any public display of homosexuality 'sick' and 'morally condemnable' and 'against God's will' and 'a moral failure', people who would fight to get any such display banned and punished. Hell, there are still many such people in the West (aren't there states in the US in which homosexuality -- or sodomy -- is theoretically a criminal offense?).

Like the Polish official embarrassing the Danish representative about the number of 'godless' abortions 'perpetrated' in that country, perhaps all Latvians need is some time, some more exposure to the things they were carefully protected from during Soviet times. And some thinking.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.