Recent homophobic attacks unite human rights opponents (Updated)

On February 19, 2021, press conference regarding the resignation of Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius, the openly homosexual chair of the Human Rights Committee, was held in the Lithuanian Parliament.

Chair of the Human Rights Committee was attacked by unfounded claims of ‘traditional family values’ supporters who insisted on his resignation.

These efforts included the petition for his resignation allegedly signed by 365 440 people. Chair of the Lithuanian Parliament Viktorija Čmilytė accepted the documentation containing petition signatures commenting that it is not up to her to take decisions on such matters. It did not end there though, as 13 members of the Lithuanian Farmer and Green Union’s shadow cabinet supported further action regarding the petition. Moreover, Lithuanian MP with a lengthy homophobic history Petras Gražulis registered draft resolution on replacing chairperson of the Human Rights Committee on February 22, 2021. Such situation brought to the table the classic item of homophobia via LGBTI scapegoating.

The issue was also rather evident when Chair of the Parliament V. Čmilytė proposed experienced lawyer and a vocal supporter of LGBTI rights Vytautas Mizaras for the position of a judge of the Constitutional Court of Lithuania. It was greeted with a similar reproach mostly stemming from certain ultra-conservative groups.