Lithuania weakens anti-gay law

Timothy Kincaid

December 23rd, 2009

The Baltic state of Lithuania appears to be backing away a bit from previous anti-gay legislation. (Agence France-Presse)

In a 58-4 vote, with 25 abstentions, parliament approved amendments to legislation that sparked criticism from rights groups in Lithuania and abroad when it was passed in July.

The original law, which had been due to come into force in March 2010, barred the “public dissemination” of information favourable to homosexuality, claiming it could harm the mental health and physical, intellectual and moral development of minors.

Lithuania had been experiencing some image problems from other Europeans due to their position. This was causing some difficulties in being considered a part of the European community.

Opponents of the law had argued that it was not only homophobic but would also impose broad censorship and violate Lithuania’s commitments as a member of the United Nations and the European Union.

Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite had demanded that parliament amend it.

“The homophobic clauses have been removed. The law is in line with European standards,” her spokesman Linas Balsys told AFP Tuesday.

Local gay groups are not content, finding the newly proposed language to also be oppressive.

Tom in Lazybrook

December 23rd, 2009

The proof of whether this amendment to the law is actually an advancement will be seen in May, when we will be marching in Vilnius for LGBT rights and for an end to the entire law. During daylight hours in central Vilnius. The date will be publicized prior to the event so that the Lithuanian public can choose to attend.

If they deny a permit, we will sue them in EU courts and at the European Court. Then we will apply for a permit the next day, and sue them a second time in both venues.

We will also pressure EU donor countries (e.g., countries that are net contributors to the EU – Lithuania is a net receiver) to tie donor funding to Lithuania to compliance with the EU accession accords.

Lithuania is broke and its wholly dependent upon EU charity. Lithuania was already in violation of its own laws prior to this new bill as it denied public freedom of speech, assembly, association and protest for LGBT Lithuanians.

Pride Youngstown

December 31st, 2009

Pride Youngstown (Ohio, USA) wishes you well in your quest for equal rights for all citizens and the LGBT citizenry.

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