An EU member state is considering new laws targeting “agitation for homosexual relations” to children.
The proposal will be discussed in the Lithuanian Parliament’s committees and voted on in the spring session.
It takes the form of an amendment to the existing Law on the Protection of Minors against Detrimental Effect of Public Information.
The law covers issues such as portrayal of physical or psychological violence or vandalism; display of a dead or cruelly mutilated body of a person and information that arouses fear or horror, encourages self-mutilation or suicide.
The proposed amendment would put information about homosexuality on a par with these issues.
The authors of the proposed amendment wrote in an explanatory note that “the propagation of a non-traditional sexual orientation and exposure to information containing positive coverage of homosexual relations may therefore cause negative consequences for the physical, mental and, first and foremost, moral development of minors.”
Article 4 of the draft law defines 19 categories of detrimental public information. “Information which agitates for homosexual relations” is in subsection 13.
LGBT advocacy group Tolerant Youth Association (TJA) said:
“Neither agitation nor family values are defined in the newly approved law proposal, therefore it would allow to put a ban on basically any non-negative information on homosexuality.
“It would be possible not only to ban websites and films (e.g. Brokeback Mountain) positively presenting homosexual relations, but also discos, exhibitions, demonstrations and other public events related to homosexuality if these could be accessed by minors.”
In April 2008 the Council of Europe formally expressed concern over the situation in the country for the first time since it broke from the Soviet Union in 1991.