Three Homophobic Legislative Initiatives In Lithuanian Parliament’s Spring Agenda

Lithuanian Parliament adopted it’s work agenda, preparing to debate on three legislative amendments and legislative initiatives that seek to restrict LGBT rights as well as the international commitments to uphold freedom of expression and to fight discrimination.

The infamous amendment (XIIP-1217) to Article 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania stating that “family is the foundation of society and the state” and is constituted by the marriage of a man and woman remains on Parliaments agenda. It should be noted that on June 28th, 2016 the Lithuanian Parliament voted in favor of the constitutional amendment. In order for it to be adopted, the Lithuanian Parliament will have to vote in favor of the amendment twice, securing the majority of 94 votes in favor on both occasions. There has to be at least three (3) months break between the two votes.

The legislative initiative – the Law on Strengthening the Family No. XIIP 4255 and XIIP-4256 seeks to establish that “complementarity of a man and a woman is a foundation of a family as primary and fundamental community and environment which is the most suitable for bringing up, development and education of a child”. By restrictively interpreting the constitutional concept of “family life”, the law deliberately seeks to remove the possibility of applying the constitutional protections awarded to the concept of “family life” for same-sex couples. In addition the registered amendments (XIIP-472; XIIP-473) proposing to further entrench these views by stipulating legal regulations of family relations that are supplemented with the principle of “maternal and paternal mutual complementarity.”

The proposed legislative amendments and initiatives are put forward by the newly established Provisional Group “For the Family” headed by the notorious anti-LGBT and ultra-conservative MP Jonas Dagys. The group consist of 83 Parliamentarians (out of 141) and gathers both position and opposition members. With majority representing Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union and Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrat political groups as well as Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and Order and Justice group.