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Orthodox Bishop In Moldova Fined For Antigay Statements

A court in Moldova has fined an Orthodox bishop for publicly insulting members of the country's gay community and ordered him to publicly apologize.

The court ruled on June 9 that Bishop Markel of Balti and Falesti has to pay 10,000 leus ($710) to the GenderDoc-M organization as compensation for moral damages and an additional 12,000 leus ($850) to cover trial expenses.

GenderDoc-M represents the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Moldova.

In September 2012, Markel publicly called for barring LGBT community members from working in schools, catering services, and medical institutions, citing as the reason that "92 percent of them are AIDS-HIV patients."

The statement sparked protests among gay-rights defenders in Moldova.

Although homosexual relations were decriminalized in Moldova in the 1990s, antigay sentiments remain high in the country.

Based on reporting by and