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Moldova: Protections for queer people don't go far enough

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Moldova: Protections for queer people don't go far enough

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — While an anti-discrimination bill has passed second reading in the Moldovan parliament, concerns are being raised about the adequacy of the protections the legislation extends to sexual minorities.

The bill, which has to pass a third and final reading at a date to be confirmed, sets fines of up to 9,000 Moldovan lei ($750) for workplace discrimination against minorities, including queer people, Pink News reports. It also indicates that discrimination that leads to death or suicide could lead to a sentence of up to six years in jail, according to the report. But there is uncertainty about whether the prison sentence also applies to cases of discrimination against queer people. 

Moldovan Orthodox Christians are opposed to the measure, saying it endorses sodomy, Pink News adds. 

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe) has expressed misgivings about the measure's vague wording, saying it could lead to confusion about the extent of the legal protections it provides to people who face discrimination based on their real or perceived sexual orientation.

ILGA-Europe’s executive director Evelyne Paradis says that by treating grounds of discrimination differently, the Moldovan law "in effect institutes a hierarchy of rights."

"At a time when city councils are adopting proclamations to prohibit so called propaganda of 'non-traditional sexual orientations,' we worry that this lack of legal clarity around the ground of sexual orientation will continue to leave the LGBT community in a vulnerable position and considerably limit their legal protection," Paradis adds.

Pink News also points out that Moldova lies between Ukraine and Romania, and there has been speculation that it could follow Russia's and Ukraine's lead in pushing for anti-gay gag laws.

Image: Lonely Planet

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