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Lithuania Has Been a Step Ahead of Russia in Anti-LGBT Measures

Lithuania Has Been a Step Ahead of Russia in Anti-LGBT Measures

It has emerged that Lithuania’s lawmakers are set to consider five separate anti-LGBT amendments, several of which the EU has already said are against human rights standards.

The bills, which are slated for action this December, cover a wide range of topics but all seem specifically designed to dehumanize and deny basic civil rights to Lithuania’s LGBT population.

Among the proposed amendments is a total ban on same-sex adoption, supposedly as a matter of child protection and reportedly featuring an explanatory note that “every child has the natural right to a father and a mother.” Other provisions appear designed to curtail freedom of assembly and speech.

One amendment would allow for fines should officials deem there to have been a “public denigration of constitutional moral values,” with penalties up to the equivalent of $2,400.

Another amendment – which Gay Star News states has not yet formally been placed on the agenda — would create significant financial burdens for anyone wanting to organize an event like a Pride celebration by requiring that organizers cover the expenses of security officials as they attempt to ensure safety and public order. Obviously, as Pride events in Lithuania receive very little financial assistance anyway, this would for the most part preclude any gay rights events.

A further provision would rescue a so-called “Criticisms of Homosexuality” bill after it was postponed last session. The bill would directly violate EU nondiscrimination commitments by establishing a clause in the Lithuania Criminal Code absolving “the criticism of sexual behavior or sexual practices, convictions or beliefs, or persuasion to change this behavior, practices, convictions or beliefs” from ever being used as evidence of “harassment, denigration, incitement to hatred, discrimination or incitement to discrimination.”

Essentially, this appears to be a blank check for open vilification and even possible incitement to violence against LGBTs without legal recourse.

Lastly, and perhaps most concerning of all, is an amendment to ban gender realignment medical care. The amendment reportedly justifies this because, as gender reassignment is socially “very controversial,” it is right to prohibit it and prevent public funds being used to provide the treatment — this despite the fact that gender dysphoria and related gender variance are recognized medical conditions.

According to a Pink News translation, the text says: “Society is not ready to accept gender reassignment practices due to certain psychosocial reasons, and therefore the permission to undergo gender reassignment surgeries will lead to a number of medical and ethical issues.” The amendment makes the misstep of suggesting that reassignment is impossible anyway because gender is determined by genetics “from the moment of conception.”

Of all the amendments, this is perhaps the most brazen as it systematically violates a European Court of Human Rights ruling made in 2007 that specifically stated Lithuania must enact a law providing for gender reassignment and attempts to make good on previous threats to pass such a law in defiance of international human rights standards.

This raft of anti-LGBT measures is particularly embarrassing for the EU as Lithuania currently holds the rolling presidency for 2013, meaning, among other things, that it is the venue for various conventions such as one impending summit on “gender equality.” At the time of writing on Thursday September 12, Brussels is also preparing to hold a concert in Lithuania’s honor to mark the 2013 presidency.

While it might be that Russia’s hosting the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games has elevated its discriminatory propaganda law to the angry gaze of the world, it is worth remembering that Lithuania and other nations within the EU had already instituted such laws much earlier, dating back to 2009 in Lithuania’s case.

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Image credit: Thinkstock.

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50 comments

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11:17PM PDT on Sep 20, 2013

Every child has a right to be raised by at least one loving competent adult. Banning homosexual adoption just means that more children are denied this right.

7:14PM PDT on Sep 17, 2013

No one dares to answer ..then my point remains..

9:13PM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

[cont.] -"every child has the natural right to a father and a mother.”

..in other words:
-who or what are the gay communities on the globe.. who do they think they are to deny any human child on the face of the earth the right to have a mother and a father in order to develop integrally and fully..?? Are we not designed to be brought up by a man and a woman who love each other by bringing a child into the world..?? Is not the first divine ideal being broken when a child is denied the presence of a mother or a father within a family..??

8:40PM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

“every child has the natural right to a father and a mother.” This first point says it all.. it is not religion, not even morality that demands that for every child born on this earth.. it is more than that; this is a revelation coming from the origin of divinity.. from the Deities, from the Creators of all that exists.. even form the Father. Nevertheless nowadays no one seems to care and God is made a mockery in many human circles.. pitiful and tasteless mentalities that come and go without ever seeing any consequences of their own disgraceful attitude and of what will be..

5:58PM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

Parts of Europe have always been like this, should come as no surprise to anyone who reads

11:03AM PDT on Sep 15, 2013

Let the European Union shut them down.

7:21AM PDT on Sep 15, 2013

same and equal under the law!

6:46AM PDT on Sep 15, 2013

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trafficking_of_Females.svg

Lithuania is marked in yellow. The same colour as the USA. Read what does this mean.
Maybe it is not as bad as you wish to see it? If you have spare time to spend on worrying about problems in mini country like Lithuania, then maybe it would be more reasonable to start worrying about the same problem in bigger country like the US?

3:37AM PDT on Sep 15, 2013

thanks for posting

1:57AM PDT on Sep 15, 2013

Thanks for sharing!

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