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Lithuanian Parliamentary Committee Votes to “Improve” the Ban on “Gay Propaganda”
 

 
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VILNIUS, April 13, 2011 (LGL)    A majority of the members of the Committee on Legal Affairs of Lithuanian Parliament today voted for the “improvement” of a legislative amendment which seeks to establish harsh fines for the “propagation of homosexual relations in the public”.

The author of the anti-gay law, MP Petras Gra˛ulis now has unlimited time to come up with a new amended proposal which has to go for consideration in the parliamentary committees once again.

“This is a one more warning act of institutionalised homophobia which prevails among Lithuanian lawmakers,” commented Valdimir Simonko, chair of the national LGBT advocacy association Lithuanian Gay League (LGL).

“Such kind of legislative proposals are totally unacceptable in the context of the legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights which clearly prohibits any discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation.

“We urge European Commission as the guardian of the Lisbon Treaty to intervene immediately,” he pleaded.

Yesterday a group of Lithuanian parliamentarians appealed to the heads of the Lithuanian Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and other religious groups asking them to publicly encourage parliamentarians to approve the draft law currently being discussed in the Seimas regarding the establishment of administrative liability for “propagating homosexual relationships”.

According to the parliamentarians, the provisions of the draft law are in compliance with the overall position expressed by the heads of the Lithuanian Catholic, Russian Orthodox, and Evangelical Lutheran Churches.

In a letter to the church leaders, signed by Mr. Grazulis and 23 other members of the Seimas, the parliamentarians wrote that in May 2010, the meeting of the Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference expressed concern about the “propagating of various forms of sinful lifestyles faced by today’s society”.

The letter goes on to point out that “the ideology of homosexuality is one such form and is unacceptable to believers, contradicts the concept of the family, the marriage of man and woman, the natural law established by the Creator, the Constitution which considers family the foundation of the Lithuanian state, and the catechism of the Catholic Church which emphasises that homosexual relations contradict the natural law and close the sexual act to the gift of life. In addition, we can state that this position of the Church also arises from the notion of homosexuality as a grave perversion in the Bible.”

According to the parliamentarians, the provisions of the draft law are in compliance with the overall position expressed by the heads of the Lithuanian Catholic, Russian Orthodox, and Evangelical Lutheran Churches that “the family created through marriage is the foundation of the Church and the state.  Only the family created through marriage provides an environment where  man can begin with dignity, be born, mature, and improve.  However this mission of the family is hindered today by an erroneous understanding of freedom, allowing other ‘unions’, such as living together or partnerships to be considered equal to the family created through marriage.”

SEE ALSO

Lithuania Ignores European Court Decision and Proposes to Ban Gender Reassignment.   Lithuanian conservative parliamentarians, led by the chairman of the Committee on Health Affairs, registered a proposal yesterday to amend the Civil Code with a prohibition of gender reassignment surgery.  (UK Gay News, March 9, 2011)

No Room at the Table for Gay Rights Group.  National non-governmental organization Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) was barred from participating in the round table discussion on Belarusian democratic opposition and human rights issues held by Lithuanian Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee.  (UK Gay News, February 26, 2011)

Euro-Politicians Again Hit Out at Anti-Gay Proposals by Lithuanian MPs.  The European Parliament today called on Lithuanian MPs to reject an amendment to the Lithuanian Code of Administrative Offences.  The proposed amendment, if passed by the Lithuania Seimas, would punish the ‘public promotion of homosexual relations’ with fines from €580 to €2,900.  (UK Gay News, January 19, 2011)

Lithuanian Seimas Must Reject Anti-Gay Law – Amnesty.   Amnesty International (AI) has called for the rejection by the Lithuanian Seimas (Parliament) of a new draft amendment of the Administrative Code that would punish the “promotion of homosexual relations with a fine of between 2,000 and 10,000 litas (580 and 2,900 euros).  (UK Gay News, December 8, 2010)

Activists Appeal to President and Others Over Proposed Anti-Gay Measure Now With Seimas.  Lithuanian human rights activists have today written to President Dalia Grybauskaite asking that she publicly expresses an opinion on the proposed amendments to the Administrative Code which seeks to restrict human rights and foster discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.  (UK Gay News, November 22, 2010)

Brussels Moves on Latest Lithuanian Threat to Gay Rights.  The European Commission is closely watching the proposal now before the Lithuanian Seimas (Parliament) for introducing fines for the “public promotion of homosexual relations”, the European Parliament’s ALDE group of Liberals and Democrats said this morning.  (UK Gay News, November 18, 2010)

MEP Hits Out at Proposed Anti-Gay Legislation in Lithuania.  Lithuania is effectively making homosexuality illegal, an MEP said this morning.  (UK Gay News, November 15, 2010)

Gay Youth Group Slams Lithuanian Parliamentarians Over Proposed Legislation.  Lithuanian parliamentarians have a complete disregard for human rights and democracy, the Tolerant Youth Association (TJA) have charged in the wake of Friday’s 31-7 vote in the Seimas (Parliament) in favour of a Bill to make “the promotion of homosexuality” an  offence punishable by fine of 2,000 to 10,000 litas (£500 to £2,500).  (UK Gay News, November 15, 2010)

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Posted: 13 April 2011 at 15:00 (UK time)

   
             
       

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