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15.7.2009 Press release about new anti-gay amendments by the Parliament of Lithuania

Press release by Lithuanian gay league (LGL)
July 10, 2009

The Seimas, which earlier rejected amendments criminalizing propagation of homosexuality, this Thursday took another step in this direction. 

The amendments will be returned to the assembly hall at autumn session after considering them by the parliamentarian committees. Only the Liberal Movement Alliance and the Liberal & Centre Alliance had no representatives who supported these amendments.

The initiators of the amendments: the members of the group Order & Justice Petras Gražulis, his colleague in the group Algimantas Dumbrava, the representative of the group of the Nation Resurrection Party Jonas Stanevičius, and conservatives Petras Luomanas, Kazimieras Uoka, and Justinas Urbanavičius.  

The amendments of penal and administrative codes suggest that a person propagating homosexual relationships in public areas is committing a criminal action to be punished either by public works, or by a fine, or by arrestment. The amendments stipulate that a legal person also is to be responsible for such actions.  

It is suggested to impose LTL 1 to 5 thousand fine for propagating homosexual relationships or for financing propagation in public places.

Earlier, the Seimas rejected initiated by P. Gražulis amendments stipulating the punishment for propagation of homosexuality, zoophilia and necrophilia, by deprivation of freedom for the term up to one year.

Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus vetoed a bill that banned from schools and public places information that agitates for homosexual, bisexual or polygamous relations, late last month. 

Seventy-one votes would be needed to override Adamkus veto on July 14. 

The vetoed Law on the Protection of Minors Against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information, has been denounced by Amnesty International, ILGA-Europe, Human Rights Watch, foreign governments and members of the European Parliament but is likely to be finally approved next Tuesday.

Vladimir Simonko, chair of the national LGBT advocacy organization Lithuanian Gay League says: “These heavy homophobia driven laws codify discrimination based on sexual orientation, deny freedom of expression, and inhibit LGBT persons’ rights to education, information and every day life. Panic fear of the Baltic Pride event planned in Vilnius for May 9, 2010 overshadows clear violation of international and European human rights law to which Lithuania is a party”.

For more info:

Eduardas Platovas
Programmes co-ordinator
Tel: +370 5 2610314
Fax: +370 5 2130762