Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 14:54 GMT

Moldova: The situation regarding gay men and lesbians, including the laws on homosexuality, the treatment of gay men and lesbians, protection offered by the State and the existence of support services (2008 - June 2010)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 30 June 2010
Citation / Document Symbol MDA103504.FE
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Moldova: The situation regarding gay men and lesbians, including the laws on homosexuality, the treatment of gay men and lesbians, protection offered by the State and the existence of support services (2008 - June 2010), 30 June 2010, MDA103504.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e0302912.html [accessed 23 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Legislation

In 1995, homosexuality was decriminalized in Moldova (ILGA May 2010, 49; Julien May 2009, Sec. 4). However, in Transnistria, a self-proclaimed autonomous republic (L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde 18 Jan. 2010), "homosexuality is illegal" (Freedom House 2010; US 11 Mar. 2010, Sec. 6).

Under the Criminal Code of Moldova, "the commission of a crime due to social, national, racial or religious hatred" is deemed to constitute aggravating circumstances (Moldova 2002, Art. 77(l)(d); see also Julien May 2009, Sec. 4). According to a researcher with the Centre for the Study of Political Life (Centre d'étude de la vie politique, CEVIPOL) at the Free University of Brussels (Université libre de Bruxelles, ULB), GenderDoc-M, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that advocates for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) persons, wants the government to establish [translation] "a clearer and more inclusive law" for the LGBT community (Julien May 2009, Sec. 4). In 2008, the Moldovan government drafted a bill aimed to prevent and fight against discrimination, especially when based on sexual orientation and identity (Council of Europe 23 Jan. 2010, 3; Le Courrier des Balkans 9 Oct. 2008; AI 2009). The Moldovan government submitted the draft bill for public debate (Le Courrier des Balkans 9 Oct. 2008; AI 2009). Further details on the draft legislation could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Treatment of gay men and lesbians

In an October 2009 report drafted by several organizations and presented to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee, the authors state that "[m]embers of the LGBT community are often discriminated against in society due to their sexual orientation or gender identity" (GenderDoc-M et al Oct. 2009, 9). The report indicates that the Moldovan government has discriminated against members of the LGBT community (ibid.). An article published in the 6 May 2010 edition of the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), a San Francisco weekly newspaper aimed at the LGBT community, reports that in 2009 the president of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (Riksförbundet för homosexuellas, bisexuellas och transpersoners rättigheter, RFSL), was reportedly taken to a police station after admitting to police officers that he was gay and that he had come to Chisinau for the Gay Pride Parade. According to the RFSL spokesperson, when the president of the RFSL left the police station, he was beaten by policemen in civilian clothing or by people who knew when he was scheduled to be released (BAR 6 May 2010). Additional information on the incident could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Over the past several years, Moldovan politicians have spoken out against "homosexual behaviour" (US 11 March 2010, Sec. 6; GenderDoc-M et al. Oct. 2009, 10). In May 2008, the Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament spoke out against public homosexual events, saying that they [translation] "are not possible in Moldova" (Julien May 2009, Sec. 4; GenderDoc-M et al. Oct. 2009, 10). He also suggested that if one of the conditions for accession to the European Union (EU) included legalizing gay pride parades, Moldova may not "play along" (ibid.; Julien May 2009, Sec. 4). He indicated that [translation] "all Moldovan politicians share this unanimous attitude because it reflects the mentality and moral values of the Moldovan society" (ibid.; GenderDoc-M et al. Oct. 2009, 10).

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009, published by the United States (US) Department of State, indicates that after the Deputy Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament expressed his opposition to "public events" of homosexual behaviour, he later said in a speech to Parliament that "citizens should respect personal privacy and the freedom to choose sexual orientation" (US 11 Mar. 2010, Sec. 6).

Various sources consulted by the Research Directorate state that demonstrations of gay pride in Moldova have been banned on several occasions since 2005 (BAR 6 May 2010; Council of Europe 23 Jan. 2010, 1; ILGA-Europe et al 28 Apr. 2010). Sources report that officials in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, obtained a court order prohibiting a march that LGBT rights activists had planned for 2 May 2010 in support of the anti-discrimination bill (AI 28 Apr. 2010; ILGA-Europe n.d.; BAR 6 May 2010). According to Amnesty International (AI), the authorities reportedly filed this application with the court of appeal in response to disapproval expressed by various religious organizations and [English version] "anti-LGBT groups" (AI 28 Apr. 2010). AI adds that, although the appeal court prohibited the LGBT rights activists from meeting in the square in front of the National Assembly, it apparently allowed them to gather in a park some distance from the city centre (ibid.). AI also reports that the organizers of the march filed an appeal to the Supreme Court (ibid.). Additional information on this incident, or information regarding the outcome of this matter, could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. According to BAR, in 2010, other activities, apart from the march, unfolded with no problems (6 May 2010).

Another demonstration planned for 11 May 2008 in Chisinau in support of the anti-discrimination legislation was banned by authorities for the same reasons (AI 2009; Swissgay 15 May 2008; Council of Europe 23 Jan. 2010, 1). That demonstration was banned, despite the Moldovan law on gatherings (AI 2009; Swissgay 15 May 2008; Council of Europe 23 Jan. 2010, 1) that reportedly does not authorize local authorities to prohibit demonstrations (ibid.). Reportedly, only the courts have that jurisdiction (AI 2009). On that date, enforcement officers did not intervene when 200-400 anti-protest demonstrators intercepted the bus carrying some 60 demonstrators and prevented them from leaving the bus for 45 minutes (Council of Europe 23 Jan. 2010, 1; Swissgay 15 May 2008). According to the alternative report presented to the UN Human Rights Committee by various organizations, the Supreme Court reportedly upheld the city's decision regarding prohibition of the demonstration (GenderDoc-M et al. Oct. 2009, 9). Additional information on this incident could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Support services

The GenderDoc-M information centre organizes various events for the LGBT community (GenderDoc-M n.d.), including gay pride marches (AIacronym> 28 Apr. 2010; BAR 6 May 2010; Council of Europe 23 Jan. 2010, 1). In order to facilitate relations between specialists and their patients in the LGBT community, GenderDoc-M has held various workshops for psychologists, social workers and family physicians (ibid.). According to the GenderDoc-M website, there is a group of gay men and lesbians offering various services at no cost in Balti, specifically psychological and medical assistance, as well as social services (GenderDoc-M n.d.).

According to the article in Le Courrier des Balkans, approximately a dozen NGOs have formed a coalition against discrimination in order to support the passage of the anti-discrimination bill (Le Courrier des Balkans 9 Oct. 2008). In addition to the [translation] "Promotion of non-discriminatory policies in the Moldovan Republic" project, which is intended to analyze the proposed Moldovan anti-discrimination legislation and to inform individuals of their rights, the coalition against discrimination has set up a telephone help line to assist victims of discrimination (ibid.). /p>

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde. 18 January 2010. "Transnistrie." Jacques Leclerc, associate member of the Trésor de la langue française au Québec (TLFQ), Université Laval. [Accessed 22 June 2010]

Amnesty International (AI). 28 April 2010. Françoise Guillitte. "Moldavie. Alors que la marche pour l'égalité est frappée d'interdiction, il importe de respecter les droits des LGBT." (PRE01/141/2010) [Accessed 25 May 2010]

_____. 2009. "Moldavie." Amnesty International Rapport 2009. [Accessed 25 May 2010]

Bay Area Reporter (BAR) [San Francisco]. 6 May 2010. Rex Wockner. "Moldova Blocks Gay Demonstration." <&lt;http://ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=4765> [Accessed 27 May 2010]

Council of Europe. 23 January 2010. Parliamentary Assembly. "Défaillance de l'Etat de droit en Moldova, où l'on a laissé une foule en colère empêcher la manifestation légale de personnes lesbiennes, gays, bisexuelles et transsexuelles (LGBT)." [Accessed 1 June 2010]

Le Courrier des Balkans [Arcueil, France]. 9 October 2008. Iulia Postica. "Moldavie : l'église orthodoxe freine la lutte contre l'homophobie." [Accessed 14 Oct. 2008]

Freedom House. 2010. "Transnistria [Moldova]." Freedom in the World 2010. <&lt;http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2010&country=7965> [Accessed 22 June 2010].

GenderDoc-M. N.d. "Activities." [Accessed 8 June 2010]

GenderDoc-M, Global Rights, ILGA-Europe and International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC). October 2009. The Violations of the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons in Moldova: A Shadow Report. [Accessed 22 June 2010]

International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). May 2010. Daniel Ottosson. Homophobie d'État Une enquête mondiale sur les lois qui interdisent la sexualité entre adultes consentants de même sexe. [Accessed 25 May 2010]

ILGA-Europe. N.d. "Demonstration in Moldova, 29 April 2010." [Accessed 25 May 2010]

ILGA-Europe, European Union (EU) Intergroup on LGBT Rights and Amnesty Internationl (AI). 28 April 2010. "Ensuring Freedom of Assembly for LGBT People in Moldova and Ukraine." [Accessed 25 May 2010]

Julien, Danero Iglesias. May 2009. Centre d'étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL), Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). "Moldavie : légalité et réalité - comparaison de la situation des minorités russe, gagaouze et sexuelle au sein de l'État nationalisant moldave." Paper presented at the 81st Annual Conference of the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA) held from 27 to 29 May 2009 in Ottawa. [Accessed 1 June 2010]

Moldova. 2002 (amended 2008). The Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova. (Legislationline) [Accessed 22 June 2010]

Swissgay. 15 May 2008. "Moldavie - des homophobes terrorisent les manifestants de la gay pride." [Accessed 25 May 2010]

United States (US). 11 March 2010. Department of State. "Moldova." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009. [Accessed 25 May 2010]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: Agence France-Presse (AFP), Canada - Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), Education International (EI), Eurobserver.com, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme (FIDH), France gaie et lesbienne, Gay Normandie, Gay Republic Daily, Gay Rights Info (GRI), Gay Times, Génération gay, Genre en action, Human Rights Watch, International Day Against Homophobia, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF), La libre Belgique [Brussels], Moldova Institue for Human Rights (MIHR), Ourakcha.com, Radio France internationale (RFI), United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee, World News Connection (WNC).

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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