During an interview for a debate show “Teisė Žinoti”, broadcasted by Lithuanian National Radio and Television (LRT) on November 27th, 2016 Agnė Širinskienė, MP and the newly elected Chairwoman for the Committee on Health Affairs of Seimas, equated homosexual relations to smoking and drug abuse, when listing examples of lifestyle choices detrimental to one‘s health.
When asked by the interviewer about how this affects her view on LGBT* human rights rights, Ms. Širinskienė emphasized that she does not see homosexuality as an innate trait, but as the “decision to perform homosexual acts”. Even though Ms. Širinskienė emphasized the fact that no policy decisions without a scientific base would ever pass in the Committee, her controversial statements have raised public concern and immediate media attention.
Last week on November 23nd, Lithuanian media outlet brought to light the details of the dissertation Healthcare issues complicated by AIDS and ethical-moral responsibility of their solution by Ms. Širinskienė. In her dissertation, she stated that “AIDS is God’s punishment for immoral behavior”. Since then Ms. Širinskienė defended her stand, claiming that it was “wrongly misinterpreted”. During another interview, published by Lithuanian media outlet Delfi, the new Chairwoman complained about the media’s attention on her traditional Catholic values. She pointed out that the majority of Lithuanian population – 80% – are Catholics, and the outcry of media “places these people in danger of discrimination”.
Ms. Širinskienė stresses that “manipulations of media” will not affect the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Party‘s promises to „respect human life from the moment of conception and take a stand against the legalization of same-sex partnership“.