Today a slight majority of the members of the Lithuanian Parliament voted for the „improvement“ of legislative amendment which seeks to establish harsh fines for the „organization of events contradicting social morality”. The proposal was registered immediately after European Parliament passed a resolution condemning homophobic laws and discrimination in Europe. The author of this openly anti-gay law, MP Petras Grazulis now has time to come up with a new amended proposal which has to go under considerations in the plenary once again.
Amendment seeks to introduce a new Article 188(21) in the Administrative Code entitled “Denigration of constitutional moral values”. It states that “the public denigration of constitutional moral values and the principles of family stipulated in the Constitution and the organization of events contradicting social morality” should be a subject to a penalty from 1000 to 3000 LTL. If the actions mentioned above are committed repeatedly, the fine amounts to 3000 – 6000 LTL (870 – 1740 EUR). The proposal is a new version of the amendments submitted by Mr. Gražulis repetitively and aiming at criminalization of a very wide variety of actions and activities e.g. campaigning on human rights issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity, providing sexual health information to LGBT individuals, organization of LGBT film festivals, Pride events etc.
Vladimir Simonko, Chair of the national LGBT advocacy association LGL, reacted: „This is a one more warning act of institutionalised homophobia which prevails among Lithuanian lawmakers. Such kind of legislative proposals are totally unacceptable in the context of the legally binding Charter of Fundamental Rights which clearly prohibits any discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation“.
LGL protesting the proposals to ban freedom of expression and assembly for LGBT people held a public action with waiving a 30 metres long rainbow flag near the Parliament on May 18th. In July 2013 Vilnius will be host for Baltic Pride march for LGBT equality.