On June 17th, 2016 Valentinas Mazuronis, a member of the European Parliament’s Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and the chairman of Lithuania’s Labour Party, published an article in Lithuanian news portal tv3.lt, expressing his negative attitude towards the Lithuanian LGBT* community’s right to march at the “Baltic Pride” 2016 March for Equality.
“On June 18th, the LGBT* march “Baltic Pride” will take place in Vilnius. I recognize everyone’s right to equal opportunities – this is the basis of a democratic state – but I cannot commend such a march.
Public arenas and social networks are already boiling over with discussions about the march, and about homosexuality and heterosexuality in general. I think that no politician or party can remain on the sidelines of this debate, because the situation is becoming sad. Graduate student Linas Zasimavičius, of Vilnius University’s Institute of International Relations and Political Science, described this well. What’s frightening is that a situation is developing in which you either agree with everything “liberal” thinkers say, or you automatically become a racist, homophobe, chauvinist, etc. The application of labels in these discussions has gone out of control.
The European Court of Human Rights recently clarified that LGBT rights are political and not innate human rights; therefore, prohibiting gay marriage and preventing them from adopting does not constitute discrimination against homosexuals. In other words, having a different opinion than them is a normal and acceptable thing that certain members of the LGBT community who think differently are unwilling to understand. I fully agree with the concept that everyone should have equal rights and opportunities, but I see the LGBT march organizers’ behavior as merely an attempt to provoke the public using a sensitive issue.
I don’t want Lithuania to become a country in which it’s unacceptable to have a differing opinion and everyone must subscribe to one indisputable truth. However, it seems to confirm that it’s now unacceptable to have differences of opinion when commentator Andrius Tapinas says that he supports the LGBT march because “there is no other choice.” Supposedly, the horrific massacre in Orlando, USA led him to make this choice. Of course such crimes should be firmly condemned, and deepest condolences expressed to the bereaved, but to attempt to use such violent crimes to justify the march organized by homosexuals in Vilnius is incorrect and unacceptable.
When a commentator in a democratic country is “forced” to have the “right” opinion, this is truly wrong. There is always a choice, and if Tapinas just wants to take the politically correct path, that’s his problem. I choose to have a different opinion and not commend the march, which I think is an unnecessary instigation of society intended to promote the homosexual lifestyle.
Pressure from the LGBT community to accept their sexuality as a given and popularize it is huge. [This pressure radicalizes some of their opponents], and radicalism always stinks of problems. On the other hand, it gives the impression that [these are necessary problems to the LGBT community]; otherwise there would be no opportunity to purport to Western European foundations what a barbaric country Lithuania is and how they need greater funding to establish their rights here.
Homosexuals do not face hatred – I know many of these people, we work together. As people, they have the full right to conduct themselves however they like, but I have this right as well. Therefore, I choose not to commend the march, I choose not to accept aggressive promotion and demonstration of homosexuality, I choose to have a “different” opinion, because unlike Tapinas, I believe that I and all of us “have another choice.”
In 2015 Mazuronis joined the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group in the European Parliament (EP). The ALDE group in the EP has continuously supported the Baltic Pride events in Vilnius (Lithuania) in 2010, 2013 and 2016, while multiple ALDE MEPs, including Cecilia Wikström and Sophie in ‘t Veld, have participated in the event themselves. Unfortunately, the commitment to human rights and equality does not seem to be fully embraced by the Lithuanian member of the ALDE group in the EP.
The national LGBT* rights organization LGL expresses its grave concern regarding the remarks by the member of the European Parliament Valentinas Mazuronis. These statements stand in a clear contrast with the mission of the European Parliament in respecting, protecting and promoting equality, acceptance, tolerance in the society and the rights of every European citizen.