Discriminatory Ads Removed from Work Place due to LGL’s Complaint

A sticker with a sign “STOP AIDS”, depicting two men having sexual intercourse, is discriminatory and violates principle of equal opportunities, concluded the Lithuanian Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson. The sticker was noticed at a supermarket security room in July, 2014. The supermarket’s security officers refused to remove it when asked by LGL’s staff member.

As a result, the national LGBT* rights organization LGL requested the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson to investigate whether the sticker does not violate the Law on Equal Opportunities prohibiting discrimination and harassment on the grounds of, inter alia, sexual orientation.

The experts, led by the Ombudsperson of Equal Opportunities Edita Žiobienė, noted that the sticker, as well as promotion of any information that harasses individuals on the grounds of their actual or perceived sexual orientation is a violation of the Law on Equal Opportunities. This law ought to be applied by public authorities, institutions of education, employers and providers of goods and services. Accordingly, the employers of the shopping centre were obliged to remove the sticker from the security room.

LGL encourages everyone, who noticed a promotion of discriminatory or harassing information at their work place or at service providers’ place, to contact us or directly fill a complaint before the Office of Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson. LGL also urges businesses and organizations to ensure safe and welcoming environment at work.