Conference on the rights of transgender people in Lithuania

On September 6th 2018, the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania held a conference on the state of the rights of transgender persons, during which international and local human rights experts as well as medical and legal representatives discussed the situation in Lithuania ahead of decisions on the pending gender reassignment bill drafts.

Prof. Vytautas Mizaras (VU Faculty of Law) explored the legal issues connected to transitioning in Lithuania, highlighting the uncertainty surrounding the current situation and expressing concerns that aspects of transition will remain unregulated even with the current draft proposal.

Lithuanian Association of Young Psychiatrists’ Ethics Committee member Gabrielė Subačiūtė offered insight into medical treatment options for transgender patients and emphasized that treatment plans for transgender people should be focused on supporting them on their individual journeys rather than trying to “cure” their gender identity. Her statements were contested by a church representative, who expressed his support for religious “reparative” therapy.

Discussions amongst participants underlined the wide spectrum of treatment approaches as well as numerous open legal questions which contribute to the precarious situation that transgender Lithuanians are still finding themselves in. As proceedings regarding the draft of a law regulating gender reassignment in Lithuania continue, their needs remain unmet.