Lithuanian Parliament postponed the consideration of the amendment to the Code of Administrative Violations

The draft amendment to the Code of Administrative Violations, proposed by MP P. Gražulis, seeks to introduce administrative liability for any public defiance of the constitutionally established family values. According to this amendment, actions considered as defying traditional family values will result in administrative fine ranging from 1000 to 6000 LTL (300-1800 EUR).

The draft amendment was scheduled for consideration on Thursday, March 13th. However, on Thursday morning the conference of chairs did not make a decision whether this question was to stay on the schedule (votes were tied), therefore members of the Parliament were invited to vote.

39 members of Parliament voted for the initiative of P. Gražulis to stay on Thursday‘s schedule, 34 were against, 20 chose to abstain from voting. Members of the parties Order and Justice, Labor Party, Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and The Way of Courage voted in favor of keeping the draft amendment on Thursday’s schedule while the Social Democrats, the Conservatives (Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats) and the Liberals voted against or abstained.  As a result, the consideration of this amendment was postponed.

P. Gražulis accepted this decision wildly. He was blaming the Conservatives for abandoning the family and family values. “They are changing not only their political orientation but their sexual orientation too, and they do it together with their leader, professor Landsbergis”, – was saying P. Gražulis in rage.

A representative of the Conservatives, Vida Marija Čigriejienė in her reply to P. Gražulis comments said that taken into account his recent divorce with wife, he should not speak of strong traditional family.

Human Rights First expressed serious concern over the amendment to the Code of Administrative Violations. “This amendment targeted at repressing the LGBT community is part of an alarming trend throughout Eastern Europe, where these bills are contributing to a dangerous culture of fear and violence against LGBT people,” said Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord.

The General Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people Robert Biedron has also urged Lithuanian Parliament to reject the aforementioned amendment. “As legal experts from the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission have clearly stated, referring to laws adopted or discussed in several Council of Europe member states, statutory provisions prohibiting so-called ‘homosexual propaganda’ are incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights and international human rights standards,” said Mr Biedron.

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