On December 16th, 2019 LGL and All Out started collecting signatures on a petition to put an end to LGBT content censorship in Lithuania.
The target of the petition is the Law on the Protection of Minors Against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information, which for almost ten years makes Lithuania the only EU member State to embed in its regulatory system a law resembling the Russian “anti-gay propaganda” law. More specifically, the object of discussion is one of the amendments, namely the one which prohibits the dissemination of information that “defames family values and promotes a concept of marriage and family formation other than that enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania”. Such is the definition of harmful information provided by the law.
Although the government had then assured that the law was not going to be applied in a discriminatory way towards LGBT individuals or contents, two social videos have already been censored and the fairy-tale book “Gintarinė širdis” by Neringa Dangvydė was taken off the market.
Recently, the Lithuanian national broadcaster LRT was forced to shut down and investigate Elena Reimerytė’s show “Spalvos“ (“Colours“), a documentary story about dad-gay parents raising children in the UK. The investigation was carried out regarding the promotion of alleged “sexual perversions and other family concepts” and its the response of the massive backlash received from homphobic activists who, following the publication of the show on the online platform of LRT.lt, protested next to the headquarters of the national broadcaster and filled a complaint against the program featuring LGBT families.
While waiting for the decisions of the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission and the Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics, the author of “Colours” was forced to stop broadcasting other documentary stories about the LGBT community. Later by majority vote it was ruled that broadcasting a program featuring LGBT family did not breach any existing regulations.
The aim of the petition launched by LGL in collaboration with All Out is to persuade the Government of the Republic of Lithuania to change this law and to erase LGBT censorship from Lithuanian public discourse.
The authors of the petition also call on H.E. Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to condemn the disproportionate and discriminatory application of the Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effects of Public Information of the Lithuanian Republic which resulted in censorship of the pro-LGBT media content and to urge Lithuanian authorities to revise the existing legislation in order to ensure its compliance with the European human rights standards.
Everyone can be part of the change and make their statement by signing the petition at the following link: https://action.allout.org/en/m/4906f026/