Rainbow Map 2021: Any Real Progress in Lithuania is Still Waiting to Happen

Newest ILGA-Europe’s annual Rainbow Europe Map and Index, ranking the legal and policy situation of LGBTI people in 49 European countries found that the past 12 months have marked an unprecedented year in the Map’s 12-year history, with virtually no positive legislative change for LGBTI people in Europe.

Lithuania contributes to this negative general trend, anchoring 34th spot with the overall score of 23 percent, same since 2019. This puts Lithuania just 6 places higher than Poland which, for the second year in a row, secured the last spot among all EU Member States.

Malta has settled the number one spot on the Rainbow Europe Map for the sixth year in a row, while Belgium comes second place for the fourth time, and Luxembourg holds the third spot on the ranking for three subsequent years.

In Lithuania LGBTI related actions are among the last state’s programmatic priorities which is corroborated by the lacking key non-discrimination policy documents, the only anti-gay propaganda law in the EU and a particularly traditionalist family concept which was not addressed following the decision of the Constitutional Court of Lithuania on same-sex family reunification rights back in 2019.

„LGBTI people, although becoming more vocal and visible, still have to live their everyday lives with a streak of uncertainty:  amongst number of issues, legal gender recognition and specific healthcare is not easily accessible to transgender community and de facto same-sex partnership does not currently have any legal status“, –  commented Vladimir Simonko, Executive Director of National LGBTI rights organization LGL.

„Newest Rainbow Map findings set an important reminder to all of us that LGBTI human rights are still at stake which calls for urgent action“, – Vladimir Simonko continued.