Europe » Latvia
Gay Guide Latvia
Sexual acts between persons of the same sex are not illegal in Latvia. Criminalization of consensual sexual acts between adult men was repealed in 1992 just after Latvia regained independence from the USSR. The age of consent is 16 for all sexual acts. Relationships between persons of the same-sex are not legally recognised in Latvia. Moreover, same-sex marriage is banned by the Civil Code (since 1991) and the Latvian Constitution now defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman (since 2005). The 1999 proposal for a law on registered partnership for same-sex partners introduced at the Latvian parliament was rejected at the Committee stage, even before plenary debate. Sexual orientation discrimination in employment is banned since 2006. Latvia was the last member of the European Union to introduce such ban as required by the EU. Initially the Latvian parliamentarians deleted sexual orientation from the Labour Law. The President of Latvia refused to sign their decision and sent it back for reconsideration. While there is increasing visibility of gay community and social acceptance of homosexuality in Latvia, some public opinion polls remains relatively negative. The Church takes a leading role in anti-gay sentiment. Cardinal Janis Pujat described homosexuality as an "unnatural form of prostitution that must not be ennobled by such things as a gay marriage". EuroPride was a big success and was held in Riga on the 20th June 2015 with around 5.000 participants met up in the central Vermanes Park in Riga, the capital city of the Baltic State of Latvia. The parade covered 2.2 kilometers (1.4 miles) through Riga's central streets and back to Vermanes Park. This distance is four times longer than any previous Riga Pride parades. The police were very present and luckily no violent clashes were experienced as in past years. This EuroPride marks a historic occasion as it was the first EuroPride to be held in a post-Soviet country on the EU's Eastern border with Russia. The Latvian capital, Riga is located only 300 km from the Russian border. The local increase in tension, resulting from the Ukraine crisis, is very evident in the Baltic States. A massive military build-up in the Baltic states as NATO launched one of its largest-ever military manoeuvres last June in the three Baltic states and the United States recently started deploying a 3,000 strong infantry unit in the Baltics, with over 100 armed vehicles. The NATO forces held a three-month exercise with the local armies in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. In Latvia you will discover a wealth of fascinating history, culture and nature. While the gay life and gay rights are still being built and fought for - you also can be part of this important development by visiting Latvia. The Euro was introduced in Latvia on 01/01/2014!
Cities in Latvia
Name: Latvija · Lettland · Lettonie · Letonia · Lettonia
Location: Northeast Europe
International country code: 371
International access code: 00
Area: 64,589 km² / 24,938 sq mi.
Currency: 1 Euro (€) = 100 Cent
Religions: 23% Roman Catholic, 20% Lutheran, 17% Russian Orthodox
Climate: Spring and summer (Apr-Sep) are the best times to visit. Winter weather (Nov-Mar) can be extreme.
Important gay cities: Riga