European Parliament stands up against anti – LGBT Lithuanian Law

European Parliament stands up against anti - LGBT Lithuanian Law
The European Parliament adopted today a Resolution on the Lithuanian Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effects of Public Information, voicing its concerns and adding its support to the civil society opposing this repressive draft Law.
On 14 July 2009, the Lithuanian Parliament adopted a draft Law on the protection of minors against the detrimental effect of public information. The list of categories of detrimental public information includes “information which agitates for homosexual, bisexual or polygamous relations”. The text would allow the banning of any information related to homosexuality and bisexuality in public places (such as schools) or media accessible to minors.
“The ideology behind the text is pure homophobia. It is crucial to allow young people to speak, think and act, in the respect of others who are different. Young people need education not isolation,” said Michael Cashman, President of the European Parliament’s LGBT Intergroup.
“In the United Kingdom, we succeeded in defeating a homophobic Law passed by a right-wing government in the 80’s. We should not allow a similar text to be implemented in another Member State. It would be a dangerous step back to the past, for the whole of the European Union,” continued the co-author of the Resolution.
The EP Resolution states that the Law is in breach of EU and international Treaties and anti-discrimination texts and urges the Agency for Fundamental Rights to give an opinion on the Law in light of them. It also reaffirms the commitment of the EU to fight against all forms of discrimination.
“This new Parliament has showed today that it will not accept intolerance and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and we will fight on to keep this stance alive,” concluded Cashman.
A working-group has been set up by the Lithuanian President and a final vote will be taken before the end of the year. The European Parliament will follow the issue through its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.
Representatives of European Parliament’s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights:
President: Michael Cashman MEP (UK/PSE)
Vice-President: Lissy Gröner MEP (DE/PSE)
Vice-President: Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP (ALDE)
Vice-President: Raül Romeva MEP (G/EFA)
Vice-President: Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (EPP-ED)