Main | Monday, March 01, 2010

Lithuania's Anti-Gay Law Takes Effect

Lithuania's new law anti-gay law takes effect today after being slightly amended due to the protests of the European Parliament.
The law bars ‘minors’ from receiving information about any type of sexual relationships, and seeks to protect the ‘traditional’ concept of family defined by the Constitution as based on the union between a man and a woman. Last September the European Parliament officially condemned an earlier draft of the law forbidding the “propaganda of homosexuality and bisexuality” to minors. The proposed law gravely threatened freedom of expression and the right to impart and receive information freely, guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. Michael Cashman MEP, co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, said last night that the latest version of the law is marginally better than earlier drafts. “Nevertheless, the European Union will not let a Member State restrict its citizens’ fundamental rights. Lithuanian people, including young people, are the victims of parliamentarians’ outdated fears: what they need is access to information on the society and family of the twenty-first century.
Local activists expect to test the new law during Baltic Pride in Vilnius later this year. Lithuania joined the European Union in 2004 and one has to wonder how this new law doesn't violate their membership stipulations. Or can one just shuck LGBT rights overboard once membership is achieved?

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