RIGA, Latvia — Up to 5,000 people on Saturday participated in a high-profile gay pride event in the capital of Latvia, a former Soviet country.
The event is aimed at raising awareness of LGBT rights in eastern Europe, where there is marked intolerance of LGBT groups. A 2013 Russian law bans promotion of same-sex values to minors.
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Organizer Alexander Ivanajevs said the event shows LGBT people “are similar people to everybody else.”
“It’s my duty to support them. They are as human as I am,” Latvian member of parliament Veiko Spolitis told The Associated Press during the parade.
A few onlookers booed along the route while a small counter-demonstration of up to 30 people held up different signs with anti-LGBT messages.
Police say three people from the counter-demonstration were arrested for trying to throw eggs and for illegal picketing. No other incidents were reported.
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