On January 24th it was a great pleasure to welcome the representatives of the LGBT network of the Norwegian Social Democrats at the LGL office in Vilnius. As a role model for LGBT rights in many European countries, Norway was following the current events in Lithuania, and therefore incited to pay a visit. “We are quite concerned about the news we receive”, one of the representatives said, concerning new homophobic amendment discussed in the Lithuanian parliament this week
During the meeting, LGL presented the most significant recent events and developments to the 10 board members of the Norwegian “Homonettverket”. The restrictions of the Baltic Pride 2010 video and some of the LGL experiences that were shared clearly pointed out how the LGBT people’s daily life here still differs from the one in Scandinavia. Although, the main emphasis of the meeting and the actual reason of the visit was the current political development in the parliament, succeeding to propose and introduce one homophobic law after another. If the final voting for the new „defiance of family values“-amendment approves the article revision in the Code of Administrative Violations of Law, it would mean the introduction of even stricter anti LGBT laws in Lithuania than in Russia.
For all the attendees of the meeting it was clear that the current happenings, as they occur within the European Union that pledged to the European Convention on Human Rights, are serious. It is no longer an issue that can be overlooked. From the moment the new law is introduced, Human Rights will be violated.
On the other hand, LGL shared pleasant experiences with the guests: the success of the Baltic Pride that took place in summer, the community that supports them both locally as well as internationally, and the growing number of volunteers and people who support and contribute to LGBT human rights protection in Lithuania. The Norwegian Social Democrat representatives invited LGL to join their activities during the Euro Pride which will take place in Oslo this June, where LGL team would be able to speak up in front of the entire Europe. The visit gives hope for LGBT people and their supporters that European community will have a closer look on the developments in Lithuania. The backup of the Norwegian LGBT network will encourage the LGL to continue their work in the future, so that the situation would hopefully improve.
See all the pictures of the meeting here