A court in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city, has ordered the local authorities to agree on a route for an LGBTQ+ march. It had previously declined three separate requests from the organisers, 15min.lt news website reported on Friday.
Lithuania's Regional Administrative Court said peaceful gatherings of citizens cannot be banned, adding that the local municipality failed to prove that the public order would be violated.
The court also said the local authorities’ failure to agree on a route violated constitutional law and ordered to the municipality to find a solution by September. The local municipality can still appeal the ruling within 30 days.
The LGBTQ+ march is planned for September 4.
The organisers sued the city in late June, saying that it has proposed three alternative routes for the pride march on September 4, but Kaunas Municipality refused to accept any of them.
According to the May 1 Trade Union (Gegužės 1 Profesinė Sąjunga, or G1PS), the organisers, Kaunas authorities argued that the event would disturb traffic and that the central Laisvės Avenue was too narrow for the march.
This, the organisers said, was unreasonable as a number of public events have been held on the central street. They called the city's arguments “formal, declarative and hostile” to the freedom of assembly.
The city previously said that the march would cause “disproportionate inconvenience” to local residents.