“No women, homosexuals and perverts allowed,” states a website of one Lithuanian motorcycle club. The Ombudsperson of the Equal Opportunities Agneta Lobačevskytė claims that the regulations of private clubs may not be investigated by the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson of the Republic of Lithuania. Meanwhile the bikers from the latter motorcycle club do not see anything wrong in their set of rules. “If gays do not like it – they are free to start their own clubs,” insisted a spokesperson of the motorcycle club.
The national LGBT* rights organization LGL appealed to the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson informing about the discriminative nature of regulations stated in a website of one Lithuanian motorcycle club. “Not only are such regulations discriminative. The wording itself is offensive. It humiliates the members of the local LGBT* community as homosexual persons are listed alongside perverts” – explained LGL’s Policy Coordinator (Human Rights) Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius.
LGL’s complaint was investigated by the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson, however the Ombudsperson of the Equal Opportunities informed that the investigation will be terminated, because the Office is not entitled to investigate discriminative operations in private clubs. “The law clearly defines which organizations may be investigated by our Office. It is either an employee or an employer, or an organization that connects people on a certain professional basis,” commented the Ombudsperson of the Equal Opportunities.
Despite, the bikers claim that such regulations are present in most motorcycle clubs in Lithuania. Motorcyclists themselves choose the rules to follow, and do not find them to be discriminatory. LGBT* persons are not the only community unwelcome in the gatherings of bikers. Earlier, a similar ban was enforced on priests.