VILNIUS, Lithuania - A Lithuanian appeals court said Friday that the country's first gay pride parade can go ahead as planned, overturning a ban imposed by a lower court that had warned of violent protests.
The procession Saturday in the Lithuanian capital is expected to draw hundreds of participants and an even larger crowd of opponents. A Vilnius court Wednesday banned the event, saying authorities would be unable to guarantee the safety of the participants.
But the Supreme Administration Court rejected the lower court's decision, saying the government is obligated to defend the rights to assembly and expression even if involves "those who share unpopular points of view or are members of minority groups."
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