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US Gay Wedding Fundraises for LGL

On Saturday the 6th of June, 2015 Lithuanian-American citizen Auris Jarašūnas married his partner Robbie Sutton in the city of Los Angeles. “I met my partner seven years ago. Quickly we became inseparable, and we were dreaming that maybe one day we will be a fully recognized family. Like a fairy tale, the laws of
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LGBTI activist voices – is anyone in Europe listening?

Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe Check your calendars. Infringements of fundamental rights, like freedom of expression, association, and assembly inside the European Union’s borders in 2015 – surely there is some mistake? No, unfortunately, that is not a misprint. LGBTI activists and human rights NGOs are being increasingly impeded in their daily work and
Published by: , LGL

LGL’s colorful march at EuroPride 2015

On Saturday the 21st of June, 2015, the national LGBT* organization LGL marched in Riga at Europride 2015. The event will be remembered as historical for two main reasons. First of all, Latvia has been the first post-Soviet country to host the festivity of EuroPride. Secondly, attendance to the event reached the impressive number of
Published by: , LGL

Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office: Company Violated Equal Opportunities by Not Renting Bus to LGL

On the 16th of May, 2015, the national LGBT* rights organization LGL received a notice from the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania stating that the company ‘Julturas’ violated Article 8, Part 1 of the Law on Equal Opportunities of the Republic of Lithuania by refusing to rent a bus to LGL
Published by: , LGL

LGL’s Rainbow Bus Rolled Down the Streets of Vilnius Once Again

At noon on the 16th of May, 2015 LGL’s rainbow bus rolled down the streets of Vilnius’s city centre. This year, the national LGBT* rights organisation LGL, author of the censored book “Amber Heart” Neringa Dangvydė, Facebook kissing sensations Pijus Beizaras and Mangirdas Levickas, and other human rights activists invited residents and visitors of Vilnius
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Transgender

Romanian Trans Woman Denied Surgery in Lithuania

Jessica Rotariu chose to do her breast augmentation surgery in Lithuania, as the qualification of the surgeons and the price of the procedures pleased her. After a mammography was handed to the doctor during the second meeting, the surgeon Martynas Norkus found out that Jessica is transgender woman and refused to perform the booked surgery.

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Kazakhstan attacked over anti-gay hostility amid Olympics bid

Ahead of vote to pick the host for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Human Rights Watch has called out Kazakhstan on it’s anti-gay treatment. HRW recently released a 31 page document, discussing how LGBT people in Kazakhstan are living in a “climate of fear”, facing regular hostility and discrimination – even though homosexuality has been legal

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Obama tells Kenyan President to stop discriminating against gay people

Barack Obama has told Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta that gay people must be treated equally under the law, or else “bad things” will happen. The US President, whose father was from Kenya, is currently visiting the country for the first time as President. During an interview with the BBC’s John Sopel prior to his visit Africa, President Obama

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Poland parliament passes first trans recognition bill

‘It was the first time we heard policymakers recognizing that trans citizens need to have their dignity assured’. The Polish parliament’s lower house has passed the country’s first transgender recognition legislation. Poland’s first transgender MP, Anna Grodzka, introduced the Gender Accordance Act in May 2012, and it was finally passed on Thursday (23 July) by 252 votes to 158, with 11 absentations. Under

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SAPFO Fest Lithuania: Empowering and Connecting Queer Community

On July 17th-19th, 2015 the independent community festival SapfoFest took place in the scenic location of Žeimiai Manor House, Lithuania. Representatives from the National LGBT* Rights Organization LGL participated in the event and had the opportunity to fully delve into a weekend full of queer culture and self-expression. The first festival has been organized every

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Italy joins Argentina, Denmark, Malta and Ireland in acknowledging the right of trans people to self-determine their own identity. Italy has become the fifth country in the world to acknowledge that trans people are allowed to identify as trans without medical, surgery or genital intervention. Following a historic decision by the Italian Supreme Court this week,

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The new judgement by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on legal recognition of same-sex relationships is significant for Lithuania, says a lawyer of the Vilnius-based Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI). Natalija Bitiukova, i.e the deputy director of HRMI, emphasized the significance of the court’s ruling handed down on July 21st, 2015, which indicated

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Lithuanian Parliament Speaker ‘Not Ready’ for Same-Sex Partnerships

The Lithuanian society is not ready for same-sex partnerships, Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Loreta Graužinienė claims. “Our society is not ready for such an action [legislating on same-sex partnership],” she told the Žinių Radijas news radio on July 22nd, 2015. In her words, such decisions could be made after a new and more tolerant

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Polish organizations in Lithuania under criticism for homophobic T-shirts

On July 23rd, 2015 LGBT groups expressed regret over the choice of Polish organizations in Lithuania to wear homophobic T-shirts with slogans “Vilnius on Bicycles without Pedals” (Pol. “Wilno Na Rowerach Bez Pedalow”) during their recent congress. Vladimir Simonko, the leader of the National LGBT* Rights Organization LGL, said the word “pedal” was an insulting

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‘I can start!’

After only two weeks our new volunteer Annemarie left the National LGBT Rights Organization LGL – but only to return full of ideas for the following ten months of her European Volunteer Service (EVS).Where she came up with the new project ideas for the LGL community? At her on-arrival training in Anupriškės. What she experienced

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Uganda has its first presidential candidate who opposes homophobia

A Ugandan presidential candidate has made history – by affirming that he opposes homophobia. With the 2016 election approaching, former prime minister Amama Mbazazi has stated that he opposes homophobia – making him one of the only Ugandan politicians to ever do so. In an interview on NBS Television, he said that, while he still believes in traditional

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Diary of European Voluntary Service, Part Second of the Story: the Mid-Training

From the 30th of June to the 4th of July, as part of the European Voluntary Service program, I had the opportunity to participate to the mid-training, a training specifically focused on the mid-term evaluation and the assessment of the EVS experience. The training took place in the scenic location of Asveja, a beautiful place