Complaint from the Lithuanian Gay League accepted for hearing

09.01.2009 5:09 p.m.
Vilnius County administrative court (VCAC) accepted a complaint from the Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) regarding overruling the decision of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Service (EOOS) and obligating it to hear the complaint anew.
In November of last year the EOOS decided not to examine the complaint of the Lithuanian Gay League and employee of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute Ms. Jolanta Samuolytė regarding the actions of Vilnius mayor Mr. Juozas Imbrasas, the administration of the municipality and the Council.
According to the VCAC press release circulated on Friday, the LGL appealed to the court with the request to overrule the decision of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Service on the basis that failure to examine the LGL and Ms. Samuolytė’s complaint was ungrounded and illegal.
According to the LGL and Ms. Samuolytė, they indicated in their initial complaint to the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Service – specific actions (omission) by which municipal institutions failed to perform their duties to enforce equal opportunities as established by law, and thus grossly violated requirements of the Law on Equal Opportunities.
The press release states that the claimant is of the opinion that in coming to their decision the EOOS violated procedures, rules for the examination of complaints and provisions of the law.
Last August, Vilnius city municipality refused to issue a permit to display a European Union tolerance trailer “For Diversity. Against Discrimination” in the Vilnius Town Hall square, which outraged the LGL and Ms. Samuolytė.
Vilnius municipality claims that in refusing to issue a permit to hold the event it was guided not by discrimination prohibited by law, but by an article published on the LGL website that which stated that a rainbow flag will be flown during the event. They allegedly tried to guarantee the safety of participants of the event.

According to the ombudsman of equal opportunities Ms. Aušrinė Burneikienė, the refusal to issue a permit to arrange an event which is being appealed against by the LGL should be heard in court – not by the EOOS.