Europeans horrified, Lithuanians ashamed: P. Gražulis praises Russia‘s homophobic laws

Parliamentarian Petras Gražulis horrified his European colleagues and made Lithuanians feel embarrassed.

While attending the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for the first time, he started openly praising Russia’s law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” among minors. As journalists announced, P. Gražulis was encouraging all European countries to follow the Russian example.

“There is such an idea. Of course, as I am here for the first time, I am not able to implement it at the moment. But I assume that during the next session we will try to gather such group [of like-minded parliamentarians], and to see how much signatures against the current official policy of the European Union and the Council of Europe we can get”, – said P. Gražulis. The deputy member said he is certain that what is viewed now as a homophobic law will be soon supported by many Western Europeans. “European Union is a cradle of decay, which brings diverse vice to its member states. Just see how Russia is being attacked after it has adopted the law banning propaganda of homosexual relationship. I wish Russia to keep its line and to withstand the pressure”, – expressed his fierce opinion P. Gražulis.

A number of parliamentarians were horrified to hear such P. Gražulis words, while his Lithuanian colleagues admitted being ashamed of him.

Birutė Vėsaitė, a representative of the Social Democratic Party, said that political groups of the Lithuanian Parliament should be more responsible when delegating politicians to the Council of Europe. “We feel uncomfortable. I believe that members of Lithuanian delegation should behave in a more respectable way”, – said B. Vėsaitė, expressing her indignation.

“Strasbourg is not a place for spreading hatred. I am here since 1993 and I have never encountered such views, regardless of the fact that I sit in between Ziuganov and Zhirinovskii – I never heard them spreading messages of such a hateful manner”, – said a representative of a Conservative Party E. Zingeris.

Liberals, who opposed the appointment of P. Gražulis to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, can now evaluate how correctly they predicted his actions. “Our fears that sending Petras Gražulis to one of the most important European institutions might bring disgrace not only on our Parliament but on the whole state, became true”,- said E. Masiulis on Lietuvos rytas TV.

E. Masiulis believes that the ruling majority of the Parliament should take on the responsibility. P. Gražulis’ behaviour in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will be discussed at the Foreign  Affairs Committee of the Lithuanian Parliament. If the Committee establishes that the parliamentarian brought disgrace on Lithuanian state, the Parliament might be advised to refrain from delegating P. Gražulis to the Assembly in the future.

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