The video clip created over half a year ago by the national LGBT* rights organization LGL will finally reach television audiences and shall be aired without restrictions. As of February 13th of this year, the network “Info TV” will be showing it from 6pm onwards, during the most-watched timeslot. The video clip is a part of the social campaign “Change it,” and urges viewers to recognize the diversity of society, acknowledge LGBT* people, and support the implementation of LGBT* rights in Lithuania by signing a special petition.
By filming real people, the video clip confronts society’s predominant misconceptions about the LGBT* community. The daily realities of LGBT* individuals aren’t exceptional, so it is common not to notice them. According to “Eurobarometer” data, only 12% of Lithuanian residents state that they know at least one gay, lesbian or bisexual person, and barely 3% claim to know a transgender person. This shows that the problems experienced by LGBT* people in Lithuanian society are invisible.
“We commend the socially responsible decision of “Info TV” to air the “Change it” video clip. The restriction of positive information about LGBT* individuals in public spaces is detrimental to society, as it promotes intolerance, bullying and hate crimes. Thus, we are very glad that LGL’s video clip will be reaching a broad audience during the most-watched timeslot in television,” assured LGL’s Board Chair Vladimir Simonko.
The “Change it” video clip was previously introduced in July 2014. However, its journey to television was stopped by censorship. Having received recommendations from the Office of Journalist Ethics, Lithuanian television networks refused to air the clip, citing the Law on the Protection of Minors Against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information as justification. The restriction of LGBT* people’s freedoms of speech and expression in our country was condemned by both the Lithuanian Psychological Association and the international human rights organizations “Amnesty International”, “Human Rights Watch”, and “ILGA-Europe”.
The “Change it” video clip is created and broadcasted as a part of a project “C.O.D.E: Coming out for Diversity and Equality” which is funded by the European Union employment and social solidarity program PROGRESS.
The association LGL would also like to express gratitude to the French Institute in Lithuania and the organizations “Amnesty International” and “ILGA-Europe” for the opportunity to create and broadcast the “Change it” video clip.