Survey: 50 % of Lithuanians do not support equal rights for LGB people

On the 1st of October, 2015 the European Commission (EC) published the results of the latest Eurobarometer survey “Discrimination in the EU in 2015”. 27718 respondents from the European Union (EU) (including 1004 respondents from Lithuania) took part in the survey that has been conducted from May 30 to June 8, 2015. Lithuanian respondents indicated that the most widespread forms of discrimination are on the grounds of sexual orientation (57%), age (50%), and gender identity (46%).

  • 50% of all Lithuanian respondents stated that gay, lesbian and bisexual people should not necessarily have the same rights as heterosexual people (EU average was 23%);
  • 71% of Lithuanians who participated in the study would not support same-sex marriages being legalized throughout Europe (EU average was 33%);
  • 59% would feel uncomfortable about having an LGB person in the highest elected political position (EU average was 21%);
  • 44% of Lithuanians would feel uncomfortable about having an LGB person as one of their colleagues at work (EU average was 13%);
  • 66% disapproved of sexual relationships between two persons of the same sex (EU average was 27%);
  • 47% of Lithuanians do not agree that curriculum and material at school would include information about diversity in terms of sexual orientation (EU average was 27%).

Full factsheet with survey results for Lithuania can be found here.

On the 1st-2d of October, 2015 the European Commission hosted the first Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights in Brussels, based on the new results from Eurobarometer’s survey about discrimination. The colloquium raised discussions on how to fight hate crimes in Europe and foster tolerance and respect in our society.

Věra Jourová, the European Union’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, stressed: “Every victim of hate crimes or discrimination is one victim too many. I call upon the Member States to properly apply the EU legislation and take action against racism, hate speech and hate crimes. Hate speech has no place in our societies – whether physically or online. I will be working hard with the national governments, EU institutions and the private sector, including IT companies, to counter online hate speech.”

Vladimir Simonko, the Executive Director of the National LGBT* rights organization LGL, commented: “The newest Eurobarometer’s survey results clearly show, how widespread discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is in Lithuania. We should not forget that LGBT* people are amongst our neighbors, friends and acquaintances. These individuals are special, unique, and distinctive community members, who personally contribute to diversity of our society and related social dialogue. We hope that the representatives of Lithuanian government will take effective actions in consolidating the principle of equality and promoting respect for every group of Lithuanian society without any exceptions.”