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Lithuania passes Section 28-style law to ban mention of homosexuality in schools or media

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  1. Simon Murphy 17 Jun 2009, 10:57am

    I’ve emailed the Council of Europe and created an online petition for the European Parliament requesting that Lithuania be suspended from the EU and all financial aid be suspended while this law is on the books. I can’t paste the links as PinkNews does not allow this. Google them; contact those insitutions and get Lithuania kicked out.

    This new law is dangerous. Hitler passed these type of laws in the 1930’s and they proceeded to get more and more evil.

  2. Simon Murphy 17 Jun 2009, 11:02am

    Also google the European Commission and leave a message for Jose Manuel Barroso the EU Commission President to request that Lithuania be immediately suspended from the EU and all financial aid stopped unless this law is reversed.

  3. Shame on their Govt for doing this dreadful thing; surely it breeches several EU regulations and laws?

  4. Simon Murphy 17 Jun 2009, 11:26am

    Of course it does – it breaches the European Convention on Human Rights and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. It also violates the equality and anti-discrimination clauses of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    It is an evil law and it is the thin end of the wedge.

    With the rise of neofacist groups like UKIP and the BNP (and similar parties all across Europe) human rights and rights of minorities are in grave danger.

    Lithuania must face consequences for these neo-facist laws.

  5. Simon Murphy, well done for doing the petition. I tried googling but got loads of hits, none of which were your petition. Could you or someone who’s googling is better than mine, please put the link? Pink News let’s you do it if you omit the initial ‘www.’ I think.
    This is a horrible law.

  6. A completely insane decision they have made. I agree that in light of their government’s apparent inability to adhere to EU rules, they should be suspended accordingly. On the other had however, I think that if any teachers are sacked for discussing gay issues to their pupils, then at least if they are in the EU these teachers might have some recourse by taking their cases to the EU courts. Its a sad day for Lithuania.

  7. When passing this law Lithuanian parliament wanted to eliminate section that forbids the despise because of sexual orientation. Parliament voted three times and almost eliminated this prohibition.

    Lithuanian parliament members have registered an amendment to the Lithuanian criminal code: “a person commits a criminal act if agitates for homosexuality in public. The penalty is a public work, a fine or an arrest”.
    A very similar amendment was reject by the parliament a couple of days ago. It stated: “person commits a criminal act if agitates for homosexuality, necrophilia, zoophilia in public…”. The 25 parliament members voted in favor of such amendment, 12 against and 16 abstained. This time necrophilia and zoophilia are eliminated from the amendment.

  8. Common sense in Lithuania has prevailed. I hope they will teach other EU states how to deal with important issues.

  9. @ Alesha – For a bigot & a homophobe, you seem to enjoy spending a lot of time on gay websites such as this. Bearing in mind 80% of homophobes are closet homosexuals themselves, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why you’re here. ;)

  10. Monkeychops 17 Jun 2009, 12:55pm

    George – don’t let Alesha wond you up. It’s fine for her to have an opinion – those of sound mind beleive in free speech – but it’s extreme and won’t be taken note of. As for Lithuania’s actions, I’m not really surprsied, but it is disappointing all the same. Though if it comes to human rights abuses, the UK should be kicked out of the EU for its laws on detaining suspected terrorists.

    PS Where did that 80% of homophobes are closeted homosexuals stat come from? Surely if they were closeted, barely any of them would be telling a stats agency that they were secretly gay?

  11. Monkeychops – Don’t worry, I’m a bit too jaded now to let the Aleshas of the world wind me up.

    As for the 80% statistic I mentioned. There are a few different sources which all corroborate this, but one which tends to be quoted the most is a study (large sample size, so statistically significant) in the USA where they examined a large number of people (all men) who had been convicted of committing serious homophobic hate-crimes against gay people. They then should these individuals images of men & women, some erotic, and used the penile circumference measurement to measure psysiological signs of sexual arousal. In over 80% of these cases, the convicted homophobes were found to be sexually aroused by homoerotic images, but not of female erotic images. This indicated that they were homosexual but with their crimes being committed against gay people.

    There are other studies which have been done as well, these other studies compiled in different countries/cultures etc all show much the same results. The exact percentage is disputed, but I believe its widely accepted to be in the range of 80-85%.

    I agree that the UK is no angel either in regard to such laws. After all, although its thankfully been repealed, its worth remembering that we were members of the EU whilst section 2A/28 was still in place.

  12. Simon Murphy 17 Jun 2009, 1:37pm

    #5: Iris:

    Regarding the petition – it is not a petition that lots of people sign. It is an individual petition by individual citizens of member states to request that parliament take action on a particular issue. The link is

    secure.europarl.europa.eu/parliament/public/petition/secured/submit.do?language=EN

  13. Simon Murphy 17 Jun 2009, 1:39pm

    I asked that Parliament take action to immediately suspend all financial aid to Lithuania for breaching the European Convention on Human Rights and the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights. I also asked them to suspend Lithuania’s EU membership if the law goes on their statute books.

  14. This is a disgusting attack on a tiny minority. I hope there will be protests outside their Embassies. I hope they take inspiration from the students in Tehran, where their government tries to shut down free speech.

    It is insane that a country that prevents freedom of expression, and passes such a discriminatory law should be in the EU and I think the president should be given a choice: reject the law or get your country kicked out.

  15. Monkeychops, forgive me but there is a difference between being penalised by the law just for being Gay or holding terrorist suspects who “may” be plotting the deaths of 100s of innocent people! We should have been kicked out of the EU for our own section28, thankfully now gone thanks to a lot of heartache and hardwork by people such as Stonewall! Come on Mrs Clinton; sort this one out!

  16. lol @ Alesha. On the wrong website love!

    This law says a lot about Lithuania and it’s culture. There’s loads of Lithuanians living as immigrants in the UK, which is scary…. along with all the other people from mostly gay-hating nations. Welcome to the UK!

    Enjoy Graham Norton and all the other wonderful gay-friendly UK stuff while you can, before these backward-looking cultures take over and campaign to ban stuff in our country too!

    ;) Just joking, but hey it could happen …. it’s actually happening as other cultures become dominant. Look at the other lead story – ‘US LGBT hate murders at highest level since 1999′. Prevailing social attitudes have everything to do with that, right? I will concede that a fair proportion of those murders are probably indigenous-on-indigenous.

    I’d suggest joining our local pride events this year, and being prouder than ever xx

  17. These are David Camerons partners in the new Tory grouping in the EU parliament!

  18. Monkeychops 17 Jun 2009, 3:44pm

    Mike – Agree entirely, one is clearly more serious than the other, but for me there is a threshold and both are clearly over that. How we were allowed to stay in despite having Section 28, but Austria were suspended for democratically electing a far-right party which hadn’t actually enacted any laws, I have no idea. Neither are good, but one was already in place.

  19. Thanks, Simon Murphy! I obviously wasn’t quite awake this morning! Many thanks for the link too.

  20. Simon Murphy 17 Jun 2009, 4:05pm

    #18: Monkeychops:

    “How we were allowed to stay in despite having Section 28, but Austria were suspended for democratically electing a far-right party which hadn’t actually enacted any laws, I have no idea.”

    In the 1980’s gay rights were far less developed and virulent homopohobia was more acceptable. I think discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was only made law in the 1990’s meaning the UK were not breaking any laws with Section 28.

    As for Austria – it was Israeli pressure that lead to Austria’s suspension. Austria was the birthplace od Hitler and considering the Holocaust the EU did not want to appear to allow facists into power.

  21. Now it is time to throw them out of Europe ! As they donm’t want to adhere to european regulations, so why should they stay in Europe

  22. I agree strongly with Simon Murphy

    I also feel as initiated by Simon it is an excellent idea to

    1. To create a petition on this issue
    2. Create awareness about Lithuania’s anti european legislation
    3. Remain tenacious about rejecting this regressive and dangerous political move in Europe.

  23. On every purchase I make I pay something like 15% VAT … why should my taxes be used to support a regime which flouts European norms of decent and acceptable behaviour?

    Lithuania should be ‘suspended’ from ALL European Union aid from the date of this disgraceful legislation. If they want to belong to the ‘club’ AND accept the benefits – they can damned well abide by the rules, regulations and obligations!!

  24. Christina Engela 17 Jun 2009, 7:38pm

    So let me get this straight (sorry for the pun) – it is an undeniable fact that many of these students in Lithuanian schools will be gay or transgender – but despite this, they will be prevented from receiving information and education to suit them – but force-fed heterosexist-oriented propaganda instead?

    And these people have the cheek to call this “protecting” the youth. Against what? From being what they already are? From getting an actual education? What is this – we’ll send you to school – but just you dare learn anything there and see what happens!

    Bigots!

  25. Simon Murphy 17 Jun 2009, 9:01pm

    Needs to be remembered that even if this does become law gay groups will challenge the law (possibly first in the Lithuanian courts ) ulimately in the European court of Human Rights and the gay groups will eventually win. This would take a long time however. The court case would take about 5 years though during which time this nasty law will be enforced.

    If Lithuania realises that there will be immediate financial consequences then they may think twice about enacting this. The Lithuanian economy is down the toilet at the moment and this law sounds like typically, nasty and populist where the government is trying to scapegoat the gays to divert attention from the disastrous economy.

  26. I have a lesbian/bisexual (I don’t know what she is really) Lithuanian friend who has lived here for 7 years. I wonder how she feels about it?

    Well done Simon Murphy for being so pro-active. You have my ultimate respect :)

    However, we must remember that Lithuania (and other Eastern bloc/Slavic countries) are former satellite states of the U.S.S.R. Whatever front they put on, it is undeniable that these countries, ravaged by Soviet oppression and Orthodox Christianity, are not as socially advanced as we are. So this is no surprise. (Interesting to note, that in WW2 the Lithuanian version of the schutzstaffel ‘SS’ were even more brutal, and even more willing to round up Jews than any other Nazi-occupied nation. And to think many from that generation are still living and will have taught the younger generations their same prejudices.)

    Monkeychops-

    “Though if it comes to human rights abuses, the UK should be kicked out of the EU for its laws on detaining suspected terrorists.”

    That’s open to discussion. I see what you mean but a ‘terrorist’ in our statutes is not defined as ‘a Muslim, an Arab, a Pakistani’ or anything discriminatory like that; it can mean anyone from an animal rights activist, to the IRA. Lithuania’s law is SPECIFICALLY aimed at homosexuals, a recognised minority; hence it is discrimination and different to our terror laws.

  27. This kind of thing just goes to show what a useless, ineffective and toothless dinosaur the EU is. It sucks money from every direction, but does absolutely nothing to enforce it’s power, because the people that run it never agree to anything except that they should have huge wage packets and expenses. This is just another United Nations for the 21st century.

    We should get the hell out while we still can.

  28. Simon Murphy 18 Jun 2009, 10:23am

    #27: RobN – you appear to be both illiterate as well as stupid.

    Check out his statement:

    “This kind of thing just goes to show what a useless, ineffective and toothless dinosaur the EU is.”

    Now Rob. As you know Britain got a similarly vicious law in the 1980’s called Section 28. That was before the EU banned discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation (this happened in the mid 1990’s).

    Lithuania will be forced to change this homophobic law BECAUSE of the EU. But this will involve a court case so it will not happen overnight.

    You obviously don’t let common sense or facts stand in the way of your instinctive xenophobia. You are after all a supporter of the neo-facist UKIP/BNP. Both UKIP and the BNP are homophobic, extreme right-wing parties. Are you going against your party politics byv opposing homophobia. Or is it simply that your xenophobia is greater than your homophobia.

  29. The claws, are out! :0

  30. I have a lesbian/bisexual (I don’t know what she is really) Lithuanian friend who has lived here for 7 years. I wonder how she feels about it?

    Well done Simon Murphy for being so pro-active. You have my ultimate respect

    However, we must remember that Lithuania (and other Eastern bloc/Slavic countries) are former satellite states of the U.S.S.R. Whatever front they put on, it is undeniable that these countries, ravaged by Soviet oppression and Orthodox Christianity, are not as socially advanced as we are. So this is no surprise. (Interesting to note, that in WW2 the Lithuanian version of the schutzstaffel ‘SS’ were even more brutal, and even more willing to round up Jews than any other Nazi-occupied nation. And to think many from that generation are still living and will have taught the younger generations their same prejudices.)

    Monkeychops-

    “Though if it comes to human rights abuses, the UK should be kicked out of the EU for its laws on detaining suspected terrorists.”

    That’s open to discussion. I see what you mean but a ‘terrorist’ in our statutes is not defined as ‘a Muslim, an Arab, a Pakistani’ or anything discriminatory like that; it can mean anyone from an animal rights activist, to the IRA. Lithuania’s law is SPECIFICALLY aimed at homosexuals, a recognised minority; hence it is discrimination and different to our terror laws

  31. Monkeychops 18 Jun 2009, 12:29pm

    Lez – Agree on the open to discussion part, but why there hasn’t been much about it at EU level I’m not sure. It may be a Member State competence, but surely the Council of Europe (though not an EU institution) should be making more of a push for clarification and justification for such a long period of detention? Not sure what Spain’s rules on ETA are and whether these have been criticised by the CoE. Anyone know?

  32. Simon Murphy 18 Jun 2009, 4:41pm

    Email the Council of Europe as well as they are in charge of the Human Rights laws:

    To: bureau.paris@coe.int; bureau.bruxelles@coe.int

    Dear Council of Europe,

    Please confirm what action the Council of Europe will be taking against Lithuania for the new facist law currently under discussion in that country?

    Lithuania’s parliament has given final approval to a bill banning information on homosexuality in schools or in media accessible by young people. The law, titled ‘Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information’, includes “the propaganda of homosexuality [or] bisexuality” as a detrimental factor on young people.

    This law will institutionalise homophobia, violate freedom of speech and harm children. It puts homosexuality in the same category as showing images of dead or mutilated bodies and will even ban discussion of homophobic bullying.

    The bill will put Lithuania in breach of international and European human rights legislation.
    This legislation is homophobic discrimination. As such, it clearly violates the European Convention on Human Rights. Lithuania has signed up to this humanitarian declarations but it is now defying them.

    As such all financial aid to Lithuania must be suspended and they must face suspension from the EU until they reject this law. This legislation will enshrine facist extremism into Lithuanian law.

    What is the Council of Europe doing to address this dangerous development.

    Yours sincerely

  33. Thank you Simon I have sent a petition and an email to the appropriate people in Europe via your information. I would also like to thank you for the information you posted as I have been trying for some time to find the right channels to go through.

  34. Simon: Ohhhh. It’s UKIP/BNP now is it? I’m sorry, I didn’t realise there had been an alliance the last time I checked. Incidentally, I am not a “supporter” of any party, I just found UKIP closest to my own thinking. Maybe you should try. Unless there isn’t actually such a party as “Rabidly Lefty Whinging Faggots” party. Maybe you should stand for election.

    I may also point out that section 28 as (an admittedly hastily drawn-up and badly worded) reaction to the loony left’s approach on flooding schools with pro-gay literature. Even once Labour did come into power, it took six years and an EU slap on the wrist to get them to rescind it, so a) don’t blame Tories for all this. and b) we seriously don’t need a bunch of fucking Belgians to tell us how to run our country at the totally obscene price tag of £40 MILLION a day.

  35. RobN wrote
    “Unless there isn’t actually such a party as “Rabidly Lefty Whinging Faggots” party. Maybe you should stand for election.”

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    When you refer to Simon Murphy as a “faggot”
    You have not only stepped over the mark into the bounds of abuse, I regards this as homophobic harrasment of Simon Murphy.

  36. In 1990 and 1991 I marched carrying baltic nations’ flags, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (not all of them at once, we switched who carries which as we proceeded in demonstrations) We were few, Soviet Union was large and our neighbor country, and we got our share of threats and harassment. But we got some publicity for the baltic nations’ independence causes as well. Publicity they sorely needed, in age before widespread use of Internet. Well, because of many reasons they eventually got themselves out of Soviet system. Yay for them. It then disheartened me to see them to drift into absolute opposite extreme of economy and administration, like not having any other thoughts than “Soviet was bad for us. Therefore it’s absolute opposite must be good for us”. And now that their economy seems to be collapsed… it’s time to go frustratedly and take out the anger on glbt people ? As one of them “girlymen” this makes me think was it such a good idea to stand for their Independence after all. They sure liked the help when they needed it. But is this what was gained ? Instead of Lithuanian resources feeding oppressive Kremlin, now it feeds smaller and local, but equally oppressive Lithuania ? I honestly do not know what to think. should I remember that in WW1 there were many Patriotic Jews in Germany’s armies, who later were “not needed” except as easy victims for people who felt small and failed (yes, I know the scale was then in millions) ? Or should I think that together we many kind of different peoples stood for Lithuania, and perhaps partly because the carefully thought risks we took, along with the circumstances, achieved nearly two decades of freedom of choice and self determination for Lithuanian peoples ? Perhaps Soviet era just halted many countries and areas (not all) under it’s administrtation, to the point where they were just before, and now the still living Grand fathers from those times, as well as the generation of their upbringing, are trying to make those Ideals work again… for some it’s only thing they know besides the Soviet Oppression: the older propaganda. Looking at the terms used by the Lithuanian parilament sources: “self abuse” and “propaganda”, it makes me feel like that old method of “orwellian” propaganda of few seemingly opposing sorts and nothing else available, has done it’s trick to Lithuaninan Administration: It looks like they do not know that anything else than propaganda exists, scientific method and such are just words to them, and reality long forgotten.

  37. John K: Regard it any way you want. The man is still a c*nt.

  38. There is a very big difference between discrimination and promotion. If you read the Lithuanian law,it is clearly stated that there be no discrimination against people because of sexual orientation. What they don’t desire is the PROMOTION of homosexuality and this applies only to minors! Perfectly reasonable. Any outrage against such a sensible and common sense law reeks of intolerance; we can be guilty of this as well.

  39. lithotomist 5 Aug 2009, 6:46pm

    Sorry, gjdagis, but I find it hard to accept that you could belong to any concept of “we” where “we” means gay people. This law in Lithuania is an offence against free speech; it bans INFORMATION about being gay, which is a long way away from ‘promotion’, what ever you imagine ‘promotion’ to be. Your expressed view that minors should be protected from information about being gay reeks of homophobia, and frankly I think you’d be hard pressed to produce anyone who ‘became’ gay because as a child they’d been given the information that gay people were ok, regular folks. You might find someone who grew up feeling ok about themselves, even a straight person who grew up unbigoted because they’d had facts not prejudice, but the fantasy that being told that being gay is ok makes anyone ‘turn’ gay is a nasty bit of 1950s bigotry.

  40. What does God think about all this? His thoughts take precedence over those of erring mankind. I’m sure this comment will outrage the gay/lesbian lobby and their misguided allies. Why not check it out before responding?

  41. Viva Lithunania!

  42. Having had second thoughts about my last comment, I will say that the Lithuanian authorities are wrong. Ignoring the problem will not erase it. But parents and other responsible people should promote the teaching of moral sexual behaviour. Children, as they develop, should be taught that God created sex for procreation and that sexual intercourse should take place within God ordained marriage between a man and a woman.

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