The Mayor: I Share Traditional World View

The Anti-Discrimination Truck touring Europe is not desirable in Kaunas, because the action will be joined by Lithuanian gays.

Kaunas municipal authorities received an application to organise in the location near Akropolis shopping centre and St Cross (Carmelites) Church an event promoting tolerance.

Upon the initiative of the European Commission, the truck decorated in the colours of the rainbow disseminating information about discrimination and equality wishes to stop in Kaunas on August 21-23.

“Sexual minorities are under the cover of tolerance and there is no need for hiding this fact”, Zenonas Abramavičius, the acting director of municipal government, explained emotionally.

He admitted that permission for such an event may not be issued due to two reasons. First of all, the organisers have violated the procedure and lodged an application for a public action too late.  On the other hand, according to Abramavičius, Lithuanians are not yet mature for “such tolerance”.

“This week, together with the Mayor and the archbishop of Kaunas we have discussed the events designated to the 400th anniversary of the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Šiluva. The action of the Anti-Discrimination Truck at this time can be treated as a provocation” the acting director of administration is convinced.

“I absolutely disapprove of such events. I share traditional world view and advocate Christian values”, the Mayor of Kaunas Andrius Kupčinskas explained.
According to the Mayor, the event that promotes tolerance to sexual minorities may be offensive to the inhabitants of Kaunas.

The leader of the Lithuanian Gay League Vladimir Simonko told that the action organized by sexual minorities constitutes only a small part of the events offered by the anti-discrimination truck.
“The truck is marked with the colours of the rainbow, even though it should not be like that”,
Simonko noted.

The leader of the Gay League admitted that he would like to fly the flag of the colours of the rainbow next to the Anti-Discrimination Truck in Kaunas, because this  has never yet been done in this city. “I know that we had problems with Vilnius authorities because of similar event. I cannot yet say if this will happen in Kaunas”, – Simonko said.

Conflict with the authorities of the capital city

Last spring, Vilnius municipal government did not allow the Anti-Discrimination Truck into the city and the flag of sexual minorities did not fly in the capital city.

A few weeks ago, the Representation of the European Commission in Lithuania again asked Vilnius authorities to allow organisation of the action promoting tolerance in the Town Hall Square on 20 August.
This time the Mayor of Vilnius Juozas Imbrasas is also opposed to such undertaking.

Tranlated from Kauno diena daily, 07.08.2008