Lithuanian minister admits national homophobia problem

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas told the national parliament Monday that the country’s reputation for homophobia was justified. “This is true: Lithuania is one of the most homophobic countries in the EU. This has to be viewed as a fact,” Vaitiekunas said in response to a parliamentary question from Member of Parliament Ausrine Marija Pavilioniene.

“The situation cannot be changed by any one party or minister,” Vaitiekunas said, adding that it would likely take a “change of generations” to develop a more tolerant attitude toward homosexuality in Lithuania.
Same-sex relationships remain controversial in Lithuania.
In recent years planned gay pride parades in the capital Vilnius have been refused official permission.

In August a “tolerance truck” sponsored by the European Commission to promote cultural diversity was refused permission to park on public squares in both Vilnius and Lithuania’s second city, Kaunas.

At the time Vilnius Mayor Juozas Imbrasas said he would not allow “advertising for sexual minorities.”