Lithuanian activists joined world-wide campaign to protest LGBT rights violations in Russia

Sunday afternoon, several dozen young Lithuanian activists staged a rally outside the Russian Embassy in Vilnius, protesting against LGBT rights violations in Russia. Sporting T-shirts saying “To Russia With Love” and badges bearing colourfully made-up portraits of Vladimir Putin, the protesters said the event was not just a sign of support to Russia’s LGBT community, but also a message to the Lithuanian government.

The Sunday’s event in Vilnius was part of a global campaign which seeks to draw attention to homophobic legislation in Russia, outlawing any positive representation and advocacy of LGBT rights, and growing violence against non-heterosexual people in the country.

“We want to show solidarity with our friends in Russia, we are doing it with means that are legal, but at the same time, it is a strong message to our own community, society, our government that similar laws are in power in Lithuania which will soon rival Russia with its homophobic legislative initiatives,” said Vladimir Simonko, leader of the Lithuanian Gay League.