Christian Union Party Aims to Prohibit Legal Gender Recognition in Lithuania

Already being among some of the most vulnerable groups, transgender community in Lithuania faces yet another threat: recently established Christian party, openly inspired by the current developments in Hungary, declared its intent to prohibit legal gender recognition procedures (LGR).

Although more than 12 years has passed since the landmark ECtHR ruling in L. vs. Lithuania case back in 2007, Lithuania still has not laid down specific regulations for LGR nor established a respective administrative procedure, leaving transgender individuals with a single option to access LGR through time consuming and costly judicial procedure.

“Only two genders are human-like,” claimed the Chair of the new Christian Union Party Rimantas Dagys whose academic background consists of PhD in Natural Sciences acquired in Vilnius University.

“We are going to propose a law making it clear that (personal identification) number identifies a genetic gender,” he insisted.

“There are people with Down syndrome and they have their place in society, however the personal identification number essentially includes digit indicating a specific gender,” Dagys’ fellow party member and current member of the Lithuanian Parliament Egidijus Vareikis continued, resorting to the use of a questionable analogy.

National LGBT rights Organization LGL regularly informs the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe regarding the process of implementing the judgement in the case L. v. Lithuania. Since 2014 Lithuania is subjected to the enhanced supervision procedure applied by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe with the view to facilitate the execution of the binding ECtHR judgement.

Civil actions for improving legal conditions of transgender community faced yet another failure. On the 18th of June, 2019 Lithuanian Parliament rejected the petition initiated by Agnė Jurgaitytė and others pleading to include gender identity and gender expression in the grounds of non-discrimination in the Labor Code of the Republic of Lithuania and the Law on Equal Opportunities of the Republic of Lithuania. 

On November 10th, 2017 the group of 31 MPs in the Lithuanian Parliament registered a similar legislative proposal, which aims at banning legal gender recognition (i.e. change of identity documents for transgender persons) and all medical procedures pertaining to gender reassignment treatment. This proposal stands in a sharp contrast with the jurisprudence of the national courts, granting legal gender recognition based on self-identification of a trans individual and corresponding mental diagnosis. If approved, Lithuania would become the only country within the broader region of the Council of Europe with an explicit ban on gender reassignment procedure.