(See Below for Case Law, Evidence of Public Attitudes, NGOs that Assist or Advocate on LGBTI issues, and Country of Origin LGBTI Specialists)
Same-sex sexual acts have been legal since 1995 in Moldova. The age of consent is equal for homosexual and heterosexual acts.
Moreover, the Law on Ensuring Equality 2012 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation.
However, same-sex sexual acts are considered illegal in the region of Transistria.
Ivanov v Secretary of State for the Home Department  CSOH 15: in an application for judicial review, the Scottish Court of Session quashed a decision holding that homosexual men in Moldova did not face a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of membership of a particular social group and discussed issues of internal flight and internal relocation.
On demonstrations for LGBTI rights:
Genderdoc-M v Moldova, Application no 9106/06: the European Court of Human Rights found that the Chisinau Municipal Council’s decision to refuse permission for a demonstration encouraging the adoption of laws protection sexual minorities amounted to a violation of the Article 11 ECHR right to freedom of assembly.
PUBLIC ATTITUDES AND/OR STATE’S CAPACITY TO PROTECT
Igor Dodon, who served as President of Moldova from 2016 to 2020, galvanised conservative public opinion. In May 2017 he publically opposed an LGBTI solidarity parade. The new President, Maia Sandu, seems to be moving away from these values and has herself participated in LGBTI marches.
Although same-sex sexual acts are legal, LGBTI organisations have reported an increase in hate crimes during 2013. Out of a total of 21 violent incidents against LGBTI persons, four hate crimes were committed between June and August 2013, according to the US State Department. In all cases reported to the police, the offenders were identified and prosecuted. Nevertheless, Amnesty International reported ongoing obstacles in LGBTI persons’ access to justice and protection by police authorities in its 2012 report entitled Towards Equality.
Moreover, transgender persons face barriers to changing their gender on official documents, although the law allows persons to change their names. However, in November 2012, the Supreme Court of Justice issued a non-binding recommendation to lower courts to permit transgender individuals to change their gender on civil documents. A special commission was established by the Ministry of Health in December 2012 to ensure that gender identity may be taken into account on official documents, according to the US State Department.
The country’s first gay pride parade was held on 19 March 2013 in Chisinau. The march was interrupted, however, due to threats from counter-demonstrators. A gay pride festival was scheduled to take place on 13-18 May 2014 in Chisinau.
On 11 October 2013, the Moldovan Parliament overturned a law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’, following pressure from human rights organisations and the international community.
NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs)
We do not currently list any NGOs working with LGBTI populations in Moldova, but welcome suggestions.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN SPECIALISTS
We do not currently list any COI experts for Moldova, but welcome suggestions.
Researched by: Minos Mouzourakis