I rarely depart from the subject at hand, but now I fear that Latvia will make the world news not because, say, Tele2 is about to claim it has 1 million users (nearly half the population, infants, infirm, geezers and such included), but because of yet another free speech scandal brewing because of a planned Gay Pride march for July 22. There is considerable pressure to forbid this march (as the Moscow police, a great example, recently did when gays tried to march there). For me, this is fundamentally an issue of free speech, even to those whose views may be offensive or strange to the majority. Indeed, free speech rights are precisely about the rights of minorities to express their views in public, to declare dissenting, radical and even repulsive ideas. We all lose our freedom if we leave it to governments, pressure groups, so-called religious groups and authorities to influence or dictate what we may or may not say in public.
As for my personal views, I am philosophically a libertarian, I support gay rights and have, just for fun, started blogging on this from time to time in Latvian, even making up what appears to be a new Latvian word for libertarianism - libertisms. And strangely enough, I am doing in on a blogging platform maintained by a Latvian IT and political blogger, Kristaps Kaupe, who is one of the anti-gay actvists with his hardline nationalist organization. I hope Kristaps appreciates that his own platform, which has a number of what I would call weird (and not only politically, just plain strange) blogs, is actually a model of a consensual libertarian community where all views are welcome.
To likely 10 % of my readers who may happen to be gay or lesbian, please don't assume that any craziness (banned marches, dumb-ass statements by the government or city council, anti-gay mobs and riots) coming out of Latvia represents what all Latvians think. I certainly don't. Everyone is welcome on this blog as long as we mainly talk about telecoms and IT. Alas, I don't have the time to keep my long dead Thoughts From Latvia blog updated, we could go on about politics there and while my Latvian-language libertarian blog is unique (I think, and Kristaps says Google confirms it), I am not about to start another Teenage Mutant Libertarian Reptiles blog to try to stick out among the hundreds of confessionals of my first time with Ayn Rand and the like.