Order and Justice MP Petras Gražulis has proposed imposing the same sanctions for the instigation to engage in bestiality, necrophilia, and homosexuality. This has caused the outrage of Vladimir Simonko, head of the Lithuanian Gay League.
The parliamentarian holds the opinion that relevant amendments to the Criminal Code should be adopted.
He suggests amending the Criminal Code so that any person who regularly and publicly instigates others to engage in bestiality, necrophilia, or homosexuality can be charged with criminal offence and punished by community service, a fine, arrest, or imprisonment up to 1 year.
No contradiction to constitution
The parliamentarian also proposes amending the Code of Administrative Violations of the Law so that the public instigation “to engage in bestiality, necrophilia, or homosexuality” will carry a fine from 1,000 to 5,000 litas.
Gražulis believes that these amendments should have a positive impact on the morality of the society and that his proposal does not contradict the Constitution.
In an explanatory letter, the parliamentarian makes reference to Article 25, Part 3 of the Constitution, emphasising that freedom to express convictions or obtain and disseminate information may not be restricted in any way other than as established by the law, when it is necessary for the safeguard of the health, honour and dignity, private life, or morals of a person or for the protection of constitutional order.
Current practice is flawed
Gražulis is convinced that when these amendments are adopted, “the current flawed practice will be abolished, when under the veil of the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation, people who value traditional family values and heterosexual relationships are discriminated against”.
In the section of the explanatory letter that assesses the possible negative impact of the law, Gražulis writes that “it is likely that international organisations of people of non-traditional sexual orientation will assess the adoption of the law negatively”.
If the amendments to the Criminal Code proposed by Gražulis are adopted, strict fines would be imposed on the organisers of gay and lesbian events.
Suggests seceding from EU
Such intentions of Gražulis caused a tempestuous reaction from gays and lesbians.
The Lithuanian Gay League stated that Lithuania might as well secede from the European Union if it legalises such punishment for having a different sexual orientation.
The chair of the Lithuanian Gay League, Simonko, says he cannot comprehend how amendments to the law criminalising another sexual orientation could be proposed in a European Union country.
“I cannot believe that such laws could be proposed in a European Union country,” Simonko said. “I thought that by joining the EU Lithuania agreed to adopt Western values and respect for human rights.”
“If such amendments were adopted, Lithuania should make another step—secede from the European Union.”
Sees political offensive
Simonko states that the amendments prepared by Gražulis and registered at the Secretariat of the Seimas Sittings is not the first step in the “institutionalisation of homophobia”.
“The first step was amendments to the Law for the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information. Gražulis’ amendments are the second step. I find it dreadful even to think what the third one could be,” Simonko said.
Amendments to law discussed
Currently, the Seimas is discussing a new draft version of the Law for the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information.
According to the law, information that has a detrimental effect would include not only information that advocates homosexuality, but also information that “distorts family relations”.
Those who are preparing the draft law believe that information that has detrimental effect also includes information that stimulates sexual desire; suggests sexual intercourse; or shows sexual intercourse, the imitation thereof, or sexual satisfaction.