(Bucharest/New York City) Bucharest Mayor
Adrieau Videanu has reluctantly agreed to issue a permit for a gay pride parade
in the capital on Saturday after Romania President Traian Basescu and the
Minister of Justice held an emergency meeting with him Wednesday night.
Videanu last week refused to issue permits for
GayFest and Bucharest's police commissioner threatened on national Romanian radio
to use the police to "punish" marchers if they went ahead with the
Church of Romania also had actively opposed the pride march.
As news of the threats spread through Europe this
week a flood of emails poured into the city. Videanu's email account
became so clogged he shut it down. Basescu also got a torrent of email and
realizing the negative publicity being generated, at a time when he was
attempting to stabilize the country's economy and show Romania as a modern
state, decided to intervene.
News that GayFest would be allowed to go ahead
came only hours before LGBT activists in New York and Washington were to
demonstrate in front of Romanian consular offices. The protests were
called off Thursday.
"The willingness of people around the world to speak out for
our Romanian brothers and sisters demonstrates the power we have to
change the minds of political leaders and the course of a nation's government,"
Rev. Diane Fisher, a bishop of the
predominantly-gay Metropolitan Community Churches told supporters in New York
on the phone from Bucharest.
Fisher will lead an
MCC worship service in Bucharest -- and will observe the well-timed "World Day of Prayer to End Homophobia."
The international support Romania gays have
received was welcomed by ACCEPT/Romania.
Florin Buhuceanu, the group's executive director said that in the 11 years of ACCEPT's existence,
gays in the country have never received so much
international support and so much media coverage.