On the 25th of August, 2015 the national LGBT* rights organization LGL applied to the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language with a request to clarify the meaning of a term “pederast”, commonly used to insult the members of the LGBT* community, and present an Lithuanian equivalent to an English term queer. The consultants of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language, accountable to the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, however, do not regard the word “pederast” as offensive and recommend looking for the meaning of the word queer in English dictionaries.
In its letter to the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language, the association LGL emphasizes that the term “pederast”, which is often used to insult and humiliate LGBT* persons, may be found in some past editions of dictionary of international words. Meanwhile, the consultants of Lithuanian language do not see the negative effect of the word “pederast” on the culture of language and do not question the use of this word in publishing, media, public life and other spheres. “The dictionary of the international words (Vilnius, 2013, 621) defines the word pederast, as a man engaged in sodomy. The aforementioned dictionary indicates that the word sodomy defines a man having sex with an immature young man through the anus,” the experts of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language explained.
Nevertheless, Nerijus Vėta, a graduate of the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences Faculty of Philology, underlines how the commonly used international words to refer to a persons’ sexual orientation indicate “negative public attitudes towards sexual minorities.” “Much of the jargon in this category consists of vulgarisms used to contemptuously mock and humiliate. Sexual minorities are generally described in shortening and distorting international words, such as pederast, gay and lesbian,” observes the researcher in his scientific work.
According to the regulations of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language, the Commission decides issues concerning the implementation of the Law on the State Language of the Republic of Lithuania, establishes the directions of regulating the Lithuanian language, decides the issues of standardization and codification of Lithuanian language; appraises and approves the most important standardizing language works (dictionaries, reference books, guidebooks and textbooks), etc. Therefore, the association LGL applied to the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language with a request to present Lithuanian equivalent to an English term queer. Despite, the consultants of the Commission suggested applying to the professionals of English: “Equivalents in Lithuanian are provided in the cases when there is no equivalent to a foreign word. The definition of a word queer is provided in English dictionaries.”
The national LGBT* rights organization LGL reminds that online comments inciting hatred on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, social status, religion, beliefs or opinions, are punishable under the criminal law. LGL encourages the victims of hate speech or hate crimes to report the incidents to the law enforcement officials or to fill in the LGL’s anonymous hate crime reporting form.