Letter of support from COC, Netherlands

Letter of support from COC, Netherlands
Amsterdam, August 20th, 2009-08-20
Concerns:        Law developments XIP-668(2) and XIP-667(2)                       
Dear Mr. Sedbaras,
With this letter we intend to express our concerns in regards to proposed amendments which will criminalize the ‘propagation of homosexual relations’, which is currently under consideration of the Committee on Legal Affairs, which you are chairing.
We are sincerely concerned that if these amendments will be adapted that they will lead to further stigmatization and isolation of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community in your country. Moreover, the proposals are contradictory to essential human rights, that apply to all Lithuanian citizens equally. Lithuania has, amongst other, ratified the Amsterdam Treaty, which bans ‘all forms of discrimination on the grounds of gender, race or ethnic background, religion or creed, disability and sexual orientation’. As a signatory of this treaty, the Republic of Lithuania is subject to potential legal sanctions as well at risk of tarnishing its reputation.
We urge you to guide Parliamentary discussions around the article in such way that the amendments do no longer conflict with existing human rights law, and that the Lithuanian law protects all citizens against discrimination and treats all citizens equally.
Yours sincerely,
Björn van Roozendaal
COC Netherlands
Björn van Roozendaal
International Advocacy Officer

Federation of Dutch associations for the integration of homosexuality COC Netherlands