The European Parliament’s Intergroup on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights welcomed the election of the institution’s new president by urging him to condemn the adoption of a homophobic law in Lithuania.
Today, the Lithuanian Parliament rejected the President’s veto and confirmed that the law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information will enter into force in March 2010. According to the law, “propaganda of homosexuality and bisexuality is banned from schools and any other places where it can be accessed by youth”.
The LGBT Intergroup, in a letter sent today, asks Jerzy Buzek, as one of his first commitment as President of the European Parliament, to write to the Lithuanian Government to express concern that this new law could be prejudicial to understanding and tolerance of homosexuals as well as moving contrary to Article 6 of the EU Treaty. Paragraph 1 of this article states that “The Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which are common to the Member States.”
“This new law contradicts the values of the European Union where minority rights are and should remain respected. It is the duty of the President of the European Parliament to ensure that all minorities are treated equally”, said Michael Cashman, President of the Intergroup.