Lithuania gets set to legislate against gays

Lithuania gets set to legislate against gays December 17, 2008

WEEKS after Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, Petras Vaitiekunas, told the mainly Catholic country’s parliament that “Lithuania is one of the most homophobic countries in the EU – this has to be viewed as a fact”, a law that could make life even worse for Lithuania’s gay population looks set to be enacted in the New Year.

Petras Vaitiekunas
Petras Vaitiekunas
According to this report, the Lithuanian parliament last week accepted amendments to the law on the protection of minors.
One amendment asserts that “a detrimental effect on the development of minors” is caused by “public information that agitates for homosexual relations” which “defy family values”.
LGBT advocacy group Tolerant Youth Association (TJA) said:

Neither agitation nor family values are defined in the newly-approved law proposal, therefore it would allow a ban on basically any non-negative information on homosexuality.

It would be possible not only to ban websites and films (eg  Brokeback Mountain) positively presenting homosexual relations, but also discos, exhibitions, demonstrations and other public events related to homosexuality if these could be accessed by minors.

TJA added:

The proposed legislation is expected to be adopted next year but will go before a Parliamentary committee first.

A change in the law will make a bad situation even worse for gay people in this EU country. At present homosexuals are barred from holding Pride marches by the authorities in the capital Vilnius.
In April the Council of Europe formally expressed concern over the situation in the country for the first time since it broke from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Twice last year gay activists were banned from displaying the rainbow flag, an international symbol of gay rights.
In May 2007 the Mayor of Vilnius refused to give permission for an anti-discrimination truck tour to visit the city. The truck was part of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All campaign, but Mayor Imbrasas claimed it could cause a security risk and riots.

However, a law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment was passed in 2004, as part of a deal for Lithuania acceptance into the European Union.
Most EU countries have adopted strongly progressive laws regarding gay rights, and if Lithuania cannot accept these, and insists on wallowing in primitive religious bigotry, it should get the hell out of the European Union now. It will probably feel much more at home in an alliance with backward Muslim nations with which it seems to have so much more in common.
HAT TIP: KregusX

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  • newspaniard

    I thought the new countries had to get their acts together BEFORE joining the EU. Lithuania is in now, receiving all the benefits, why should it bother to alter its totalitarian ways?

  • Angela K

    Lithuania should never have been allowed to join the EU and neither should that other ‘dark age’ nation of religous nutters: Turkey.

  • Stuart H.

    If I recall correctly, it’s even worse than this.
    A civil rights outfit in Alabama called Southern Poverty Law Center produce a mag logging US hate campaigns called Intelligence Report.
    A couple of issue back they had something on Lithuanian religiously-motivated neo-nazis who’d emigrated to the US causing so much trouble in the state they’d settled in (don’t remember which one)that a decade or so of campaigns to abolish homophobia had been effectively reversed within a year.

  • H. Davids

    Lithuania is also one of the countries that participated enthusiastically in the killing of Jews and Gypsies during WWII; they sometimes even started before the Germans asked them to help them out. Things haven’t changed that much since then.

  • Michelle

    H Davids, you should probably get some facts before posting…
    I agree that it’s not right for them to discriminate but that’s just how it is in Lithuania. They do have different family values than Americans but that’s no reason for us to tell them what they should do- If our country accepts gays and lesbians( which is not the case) we should not think that every other country should.