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Lithuania Considers Anti-LGBT Law; Is This A Problem For U.S. State Department?

Randy Potts

March 12th, 2014

As more countries consider the anti-LGBT legislation passed by the Russian Duma in June of 2013, the U.S. State Department and anti-gay U.S.-based evangelical Christian movements are heading towards an unavoidable clash.

LGL, the National LGBT Rights Organization, reports that (NATO member) Lithuania is now considering laws based on the Russian Duma’s anti-LGBT legislation from June 2013:

 The bill was proposed by MP Petras Gražulis in reaction to the upcoming Baltic Pride 2013 March for Equality. MP hasstated that the rationale for the amendment arose from the “current weaknesses of Lithuanian legal system, when promotion of the harmonious, traditional family values is often estimated as unfounded and illegal discrimination against sexual minorities for their sexual orientation”. According to the proponent of the amendment, “the faulty practice appears when the fight against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is being used as a shield. As a consequence, traditional family values are being discriminated, which are appreciated by the people who value heterosexual sexual relations”.

Jim Burroway recently reported that Ukraine is considering similar legislation.  The news from Lithuania is brand new so it’s difficult as yet to see where the proposals have come from and if there is a link to U.S.-based anti-gay Christian groups.  In Ukraine, however, the link seems clear.  The WCF leader Don Feder is in Ukraine this very week; WCF will also be holding a values summit in Russia in fall of 2014.

U.S.-based World Congress of Families’ Don Feder is in Ukraine “to defend the natural family” & fight the gay agenda https://t.co/E6SWQrRXHk

— randy r. potts (@randyrpotts) March 11, 2014

When asked about this summit recently the WCF stated that “Putin doesn’t threaten our national security, Obama does.” Jeff Sharlet in his 2011 book C Street tied anti-gay U.S.-based Christian groups to a burgeoning evangelical movement in Ukraine; presumably, the WCF is working with this same movement, helping push the new anti-LGBT laws now under consideration.

It seems this is going to be a big problem for the U.S. State Department which it has, so far, been able to ignore.  Hillary Clinton set a new tone on gay rights, explicitly stating that the U.S. will support LGBT people and announcing a “global initiative to promote LGBT rights as human rights.” At the same time, groups like WCF and individuals like Scott Lively are actively undermining this initiative, and openly supporting Putin over Obama.

Your move, John Kerry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

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Nathaniel
March 12th, 2014 | LINK

Fortunately, a lot of these laws are bad on a number of levels. While they specifically target pro-LGBT expression, they are still, broadly speaking, limits on free speech. LGBT activist are not trying to silence “pro-family” voices legislatively, or any other way. They aren’t demanding heterosexuals “keep their sexuality to themselves.” They merely want to be included in pro-family expression, and to be free to express themselves the way heterosexuals do. It isn’t a “them or us” choice, and we shouldn’t let supporters of such laws frame it that way. Limits on free speech for LGBT people are limits on free speech for everybody, and should thus be rejected by international communities.

grantdale
March 12th, 2014 | LINK

Actually, I think it’s over to the EU; of which Lithuania is a member state.

“9) whether the bill meets the European Court of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms Convention and EU documents: In compliance.”

Fat chance.

Where are these morons coming from?

Randy Potts
March 12th, 2014 | LINK

@grantdale, I agree that the EU has a clear role here, and may yet make a statement. What interests me more, however, is that the U.S. State Dept has embarked on a pro-LGBT “global initiative” that members of the American evangelical Christian community (and some politicians including Jim Inhofe) are actively working against in areas like Ukraine, Russia, Uganda, etc. I would guess there is precedent for this type of thing, groups in the U.S. having a difference of opinion from the State Dept party line, and I’m curious how it was resolved in the past and how it will be resolved in the present. That we’re in the center of this makes it feel that much more important.

grantdale
March 13th, 2014 | LINK

@Randy: yep, the activities of US citizens outside the US is an important one for them to ponder. Not sure what they can actually do about it (the outcome of the SMUG lawsuit against Lively will be interesting).

The clammy palms of Lively have of course been all over Lithuania as well (dating back to 2007,?). The EU has had a lot to say over those years, as has Lithuania’s Supreme Court – doesn’t seem to stop these numb nuts, they lose and then go and write yet another equally offending piece of law and it’s starts off all over again.

This constant flouting of clear expectations is pissing off other EU states, and at the moment I don’t think I’d want to be a small member state that finds itself suddenly regarded as proxy for what the EU would dearly have do to much more untouchable Russia…

JCF
March 13th, 2014 | LINK

If these countries want protection from Putin, they better back the f#ck off from these anti-LGBT laws P.D.Q.!

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