kolmapäev, august 02, 2006

Tallinn Takes Care of its Transsexuals ...

When you spend many moments of your day crawling around the Internet looking for news about a certain small northern European country, you realize that there are many reader-focused publications out there. The Jewish international press, as one example, knows how to express outrage. If someone poops on a monument in Estonia, everyone will know about it tomorrow. Similarly, the gay press has its finger on the pulse of all things happening to fellow homosexuals all over the world. When the Dutch Ambassador left Tallinn this year alleging discrimination against his Cuban male partner, a variety of international online publications covered it. That event tarnished Estonia's reputation a bit, but fortunately, Tallinn has been redeeming itself in the gay press.

As The Windy City Times (a Chicago-based mag that makes sure everyone in Illinois is informed when someone throws feces at a pride rally in Riga) reports this week:

Despite the recent disasters when gays tried to stage pride parades in Russia and Latvia, everything looks good to go for Estonia’s third pride parade and festival in Tallinn Aug. 7-13.

“Estonia has proven to be the most tolerant of the three Baltic states [ Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ] , the pride marches have never been banned nor has there been any acts of violence or public hate speech from politicians,” said Lisette Kampus, publicist for Tallinn Pride 2006.

“We can only hope that Estonia will show the best example to our beloved neighbors Latvia and Lithuania. ... Soviet times are gone for a long time now and Estonia has proven to be a worthy member state of the European Union.”

This June, Estonia’s Parliament increased protections for GLBT people. In a 62-18 vote, lawmakers criminalized human-rights violations; unfair advantages; and incitement of hatred, violence or discrimination based on, among other things, sexual orientation. Violators face a fine or jail sentence.

The author of the amendments said Estonia was lagging behind other European nations in protecting gay people. “Now homophobia has been criminalized here as well,” said People’s Union MP Jaak Allik.

Tallinn Pride’s theme will be “Equal Obligations with Equal Rights!” Kampus said there is a “severe need” for a partnership law to “protect gays and lesbians and their families.”

Events will include exhibitions, movies, a karaoke competition and the parade on Aug. 12. For more information, see www.pride.ee .

I know it's wrong to feel superior to your neighbors, but, is it really that wrong, especially when it's so easy to become superior - ie. all you have to do is let the Estonian gay community sing karaoke in peace and save your feces for the next pronkssõdur protest?

Silly Baltic-speakers. You make being the number one Baltic state easy.