On the day of Lithuanian president elections and International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Nordic LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) rights activists gathered in front of the Lithuanian embassy in Stockholm to express their concerns about homophobia in Lithuania.
European or Soviet Union? What’s next – penalty code? – rhetorically asked the activists. The demonstration was held in regards to a legislation expected to be passed by the Lithuanian Parliament this month. If adopted it would allow banning basically any non-negative information on homosexuality and bisexuality.
On the 11th of December 2008 the law proposal of the amendments of the Law on the Protection of Minors against Detrimental Effect of Public Information has been approved in the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania (XIP-110). Under this law proposal, the detrimental effect on the development of minors is caused also by public information that agitates for homosexual relations, and defiles family values.
On the 9th of April the law proposal was read and successfully approved by the Committee of the Development of Information Society, on the 16th of April – the Committee on Human Rights, and lastly on the 29th of April – Committee on Education, Science and Culture. The Committee on Human Rights not only did not oppose the law proposal, but decided to extend the list of detrimental factors. It decided to include also the public information that agitated for bisexual and polygamous relations in the law proposal.
Neither agitation nor family values are defined in the newly approved law proposal, therefore it would allow to ban basically any non-negative information about homosexuality and bisexuality accessible for minors, such as movies, websites, articles, sexual education and even psychological help.
The discriminative legislation is expected to be adopted this month.
Lithuania already has arguably the worst record on LGBTQ rights of any EU nation. State institutions banning Pride events, attempts to eliminate sexual orientation from the grounds of discrimination, openly homophobic messages from politicians, officials and media – all this has become daily LGBTQ realities in the country.
Once again LGBT lobbying groups’ resistance against the above mentioned legislation has not received any support from state institutions, even the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsman. The Ombudsman Ausrine Burneikiene stated that the proposal to treat public information that agitates for homosexual relations as having the detrimental effect on the development of minors has nothing to do with Human Rights violations.
LGBTQ demonstration in front of the Lithuanian embassy
On the day of Lithuanian president elections and International day against homophobia LGBTQ rights activists held the demonstration in front of the Lithuanian embassy in Stockholm. The purpose of this was to turn attention to homophobia in Lithuania and to urge Lithuanian state to end discriminative initiatives.
The demonstration was organised by Lithuanian activists with a support from SFQ, The Swedish Federation of LGBTQ Student Organizations and ANSO, Association of Nordic LGBTQ Student Organizations.