Moldovan Court Overturns Local Ban On 'Gay Propaganda'

A court in Balti, Moldova's second-largest city, has overturned a local ban on what local authorities had labeled "homosexual propaganda."

In its verdict on February 28, the Balti Court of Appeals said the ban approved last year by the city council was unconstitutional and violated human rights.

The court also criticized another decision, which proclaimed Balti "a zone of enhanced support for the Orthodox Church."

Both bans were issued after church-led protests against Moldova's adoption of an EU-backed antidiscrimination bill, which offers some protection to gays and lesbians among other minorities.

Critics of the ban have said it was inspired by a similar law adopted earlier last year by local legislators in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.