The parliament of Moldova voted on Friday to cancel its version of Russian’s law criminalizing promoting “non-traditional sexual relationships to minors” initially passed in June, AFP reports.
Lawmakers bucked pressure from the Orthodox Church and dropped the ban as the country prepares to take its first step towards European Union membership by signing an affiliation agreement next month. Moldova’s adoption of the law earlier this year fanned concerns that Russia’s anti-gay campaign was gathering steam in countries once considered to be in its sphere of influence.
On Friday, protestors aligned with the Orthodox Church reportedly blocked the entrance to the parliament, clashing with police and delaying the vote.
“Our dear politicians have gone mad with homosexual desires,” said Gennady Valutsè, a protestor with the group ProOrtodoxia.