Speaking during a discussion at the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania on June 3rd, the only openly gay member of the Lithuanian Parliament and the Conservative Party Rokas Žilinskas insisted that the adoption of the Partnership Act, proposed by nine members of the Parliament from the Social Democratic and the Liberal Movement parties would not “benefit same-sex couples”. Mr. Žilinskas asserted that today he is “able to feel safe and happy” in society, which has been increasingly referred to as homophobic.
During the discussion in the Lithuanian Parliament, MP Žilinskas has raised a question: why the Lithuanian society is often criticized as homophobic? “I believe it is because others like me have not finished their homework. Our society is not acquainted with harmonious, happy and exemplary same-sex couples,” claimed MP Žilinskas.
According to the MP, when the Lithuanian LGBT* community initiated a dialogue about implementation of its human rights, “a huge error in communication was made”. “People started to talk about marriage and in our traditional society it is associated with the God, the Church, the altar, the priest, the groom and the bride. In order for us to feel safe in our society, to feel accepted, tolerated and to be able to calmly walk down the street we need to do our homework. It is not enough to organize a march once every three years to achieve public sympathy,” he asserted.
According to the MP, Lithuania “needs at least one brave and happy couple, perhaps even raising a biological child of one of the parents” for the media to cover the story positively and to initiate a fruitful debate in society. The MP insisted that a person who fully embraces his identity “is ought to seek a compromise with his community and the public opinion”. “We will not achieve any positive results in cornering the public, not listening to its phobias, fears and sometimes even silly arguments. In the case the Partnership Law will be adopted, our society will not reward us will love, people will never entrust us with their children.”
“The Partnership Law will not benefit same-sex couples. Yes, the time has come to legally implement it, but we still have to solve many problems within ourselves – by being true to ourselves, our families, friends and fellow colleagues,” concluded the member of the Lithuanian Parliament Žilinskas.
The national LGBT* rights organization LGL expresses its grave concern regarding the remarks made by the member of the Lithuanian Parliament Rokas Žilinskas. It is noteworthy that Mr. Žilinskas did not take the opportunity to express his support for the local LGBT* community in participating in the Baltic Pride 2013 “March for Equality” organized by association LGL.