On 12-13 November 2013 the Fundamental Human Rights Conference (FRC) “Combating hate crime in the EU: Giving victims a face and a voice”, organised by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency is taking place in Vilnius, Lihuania. The conference focuses on fighting hate crimes and seeks to establish and promote international cooperation among the EU member states in combating discrimination and violence motivated by racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance or homophobia.
While the LGL’s Board Chair Vladimir Simonko together with other two staff members are attending the conference, the Lithuanian MP and the member of the governing coalition Petras Gražulis has come to the LGL‘s office to deliver a personal “present” for the remaining of the LGL’ staff. He has pretentiously expressed his „gratitude for LGL in the field of protecting human rights and combating homophobia in Lithuania“. Furthermore, the politician was accompanied by an unidentified cameraman, who filmed the LGL’s staff and premises without permission.
LGL condemns this action by the MP Petras Gražulis and considers it as being humilliating and offensive to the local LGBT* community. Taken into account the ongoing FRA’s Fundamental Human Rights Conference, which is organised in cooperation with the Lithuanian EU Presidency, this kind of hateful action by the MP is indicative of the prevailing homophobic, biphobic and transphobic atmosphere in the Lithuanian society. Instead of actively contibuting to reducing the rates of homohobic rethorics and actions in Lithuania, the Member of the Parliament has no shame in publicly harassing and inciting hatred against the local LGBT* community. LGL encourages public authorities to condemn this incident.