On the 17th of June, 2015 the Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Lithuania Juozas Olekas argued that homosexual conscripts are not deprived of the right to serve in the Lithuanian army. Mr. Olekas has been forced to reassure that the country’s military does not discriminate against homosexual conscripts after an army psychiatrist declared that homosexuality was an exclusion criteria in selecting servicemen.
The Minister of National Defense assured that the army did not discriminate against homosexual people and that they were not excluded from the possibility to serve in the military. “Our laws and decrees do not include any discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. The army is open to both heterosexual and homosexual individuals, we do not reject troops fit to serve in Lithuania’s Armed Forces as a matter of facts,” he maintained at the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania on the 17th of June, 2015 to respond to the media reports about psychological tests for conscripts being aimed to screen them for “sexual preferences”.
When asked about the questions of the psychological test, including those referring to the desire to be a woman or to pick flowers, Mr. Olekas claimed they were targeted at checking a person’s psychological condition and “suitability for army”. The Minister of National Defense also stressed that the Lithuanian army was giving the same psychological test already used in other NATO countries. While women can voluntarily serve in the Lithuanian army, only men between 19 and 26 are subject to compulsory conscription.
The Lithuanian army has reintroduced compulsory military conscription this year. Three thousand men, including volunteers, will be drafted for a nine-month service this autumn. The Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Lithuania has recently compiled a list of randomly selected candidates that will serve as a pool for drawing conscripts. Everyone in the list has to report to a military recruitment office to be screened for suitability for military service.