Approximately 600 companies, associations and civil society representatives have signed an open letter to express support for Riga Mayor Martins Stakis (Progressives/For) for his decision to raise the rainbow flag at Riga City Council to mark the 2023 Riga Pride Week, as Dzivesbiedri (Spouses) movement representative Kaspars Zalitis informed LETA.
The letter emphasizes that Stakis’ decree on raising the rainbow flag at Riga City Council “symbolizes the city’s support for the goals of the Pride march”, and that raising the flag at the municipality is “a common practice in the capitals of countries based on Western values”.
Latvia’s support for human rights and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community “is particularly important for Latvia’s partners and allies”, as representatives of the embassies of the United States, France, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Great Britain and other EU and NATO member countries also participated in the Riga Pride march, says the letter.
Respectable companies support Riga Pride
Likewise, the city’s support for the parade is important for international companies and investors that operate in Riga.
The letter has been signed by Draugiem Group Mentors’ Club, Positivus Koncerti, Printful, , Helve, Circle K Business Centre, Millers & Gavrilovics, agencies White Label, Golin, Magic B40, McCann Riga, Collex, ERDA employees, Latvia’s LGBT rights group Mozaika, Dzivesbiedri, Marta center, Latvian Center for Contemporary Art, Latvian Startup Association, Tavi Draugi, Gribu Palidzet Begliem, Latvian Basketball Association, Women’s Basketball League, Latvian Youth Council, Latvian Art Directors Club, Ascendum, Satori, actor Girts Kalnins, directors Una Rozenbauma and Krista Burane, and others.,
As reported, Riga City Council members from the National Alliance and the Latvian Alliance of Regions (LRA) will demand explanations from Stakis to fly the LGBTQ flag on the Riga City Council building, LETA learned from Riga Vice Mayor Edvards Ratnieks (National Alliance).
Members of the NA/LRA faction point out that Riga Mayor Martins Stakis has acted arbitrarily and undemocratically, imposing his will on the majority without discussion within the Riga City Council coalition or faction council. Ratnieks emphasizes that the Riga City Council is not in the hands of one party, and the majority of the city council does not symbolize this ideology.
Stakis said earlier that the hanging of the LGBTQ flag in front of the Riga City Council building is his order, in solidarity with Latvian citizens who will go on to the Riga Pride march today to stand up for human rights, and against violence and discrimination.