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Lithuania’s parliament passes ‘Section 28-style’ law to ban homosexuality in schools

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Reader comments

  1. Commander Thor 14 Jul 2009, 6:08pm

    This is terrible news :( I had removed Lithuania from my list of countries I won’t visit alive, but I’ll add it again…

  2. Are you planning on visiting countries dead?

  3. Har Davids 14 Jul 2009, 7:23pm

    I don’t think we need countries like these in the EU! Apart from the fact that this kind of homophobic behaviour may contravene some EU declarations, there’s also the matter of the it’s stupidity; I’m sure there’s Internet in Lithuania, so if people want information, they’ll get it.

  4. Simon Murphy 14 Jul 2009, 7:47pm

    The EU Commissioner responsible for this is Vladimir Spidla – the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. His email address is as follows:

    I urge you to write him an email along the lines of:

    “Dear Commissioner Spidla,

    Please confirm that Lithuania is to be immediately dismissed from the European Union and all financial aid to the country stopped. This must happen as a result of their parliament enacting the ‘Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information’, which includes “the propaganda of homosexuality [or] bisexuality” as a detrimental factor on young people.
    This law is a clear infringement of freedom of expression and non-discrimination rights which Lithuania agreed to when joining the EU. Their rejection of human rights must result in their suspension from the EU and an immediate cessation of all financial aid.

    Yours sincerely,”

  5. Simon, I’m sure you mean well and I thank you for these e-mail addresses but I’m afraid they don’t even read them because of the aggresive tone you use. Also, there is no such thing as a dismissal from the EU, so what you propose is, in fact, absurd.

    Surely a nice(r) and cordial letter would have more of an impact.

    Any thoughts?

  6. Simon Murphy 14 Jul 2009, 8:37pm

    Write your own mail then Lucius. I don’t expect anyone to copy what I’ve written unless they choose. They can write what they see fit. I’ve just given them a contact address and what i sent.

    Please copy and paste what you’ve written to the commissioner so people can have another template.

    Writing an ‘aggressive’ email is better than ignoring this issue. Not that I think my email is aggressive.

    Remember that Austris was suspended from the EU before – not for enacting facist laws like Lithuania but for allowing the ‘wrong’ party into parliament. I doubt the EU will take the issue of Lithuanian homophobia so seriously even though the Lithuanian situation is more sinister than Austria

  7. Sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude, really. I’ve just always been taught that everything in diplomacy must be done as indirectly and gently as possible.

    Austria was not suspended in 2000, only sanctions were applied, which only boosted the advances of the far-right parties.

    I think a warning from the Council of Europe would be more in place, seeing how this law violates the European convention on human rights and it is this very council that makes sure this Convention is enforced.

    By chance, the president of the said council is currently the minister of foreign affairs of my country, who was an honorary sponsor of this year’s Pride parade, so he’s quite open for such letters, I presume.


  8. Lithuanian, gay 14 Jul 2009, 9:07pm

    Please make some moves out there (UK and the World), as we used to say in former days of “Sajudis” a movement that unified people 20 years ago and led the country into independence from the USSR: “For Your and Our Freedom!”. Unfortunately, the country is hijacked by the catholic-nationalistic ruling parties (no doubt with the help of Vatican) and from the inside it seams that without decisive outside help and action we will be lost… sorry.
    EU Parliament EC and other institutions should keep watching what is happening in this country; economic sanctions (or such perspective) would especially welcome and clarifying for some homophobes in the Parliament and Government especially now during the time of crises

  9. As a conservative I find it somewhat alarming agreeing wholeheartedly with Simon Murphy twice in one week but there you go – I urge all readers to write to the Commissioner along the lines of Simon’s template. This is far too important a matter to pass over hoping others will stand up and be countered.

    Personalizing Simon’s extract I wote:

    Dear Commissioner Spidla,

    I was appalled to read of the actions of the Lithuanian parliament in criminalising the inclusion of information about gay and bisexual people to young people in that country. This takes this nation back into the dark ages by promoting discrimination and inequality, no different from restrictions on people because of their colour or faith. I would urge you to take action against Lithuania as this nation has proved itself unfit to be a member of the European Union. As a tax-payer contributing to the EU I consider it quite unnacceptable that western democracies should be giving this backward nation any financial aid.

    The law they have passed is a clear infringement of freedom of expression and non-discrimination rights which Lithuania accepted when it joined the EU – they have therefore broken a key promise by rejecting basic human rights and this should trigger their suspension from the EU and an immediate block on any further financial aid.

  10. John (Derbyshire 14 Jul 2009, 10:08pm

    Don`t be so nieve as to imagine that “Section 28” will never return to the UK!! David Wiltshire-who concocted the wording -is still a conservative MP. The legislation is still widely supported in the present-day conservative party (Gerald Howarth,Julian Brazier,Christopher Chope etc.,etc.)

  11. Who give an arse what these ditty little backward cuntries think.

    All blindly following pointless doctrine as spewed at them by recent tradition, and the bigots in their churches.

    Let these places die. Is it any wonder the crap lifes these people have under the cloak of religious “tradition”.

    Their stood on this very day, the ArchBishop of UK hypocrisy, resplendant in expensive finery, moaning that a few Bishops may have to be lost, as they have run out of cash.

    These old beardy pampered idiots should read up on their “Good Book” and understand that each and every one of them on their own interpretation of their religion will never reach the pretendy nirvanah they seek, given the divisiveness of their own creation.

    Its not a business. Its a belief.

    F!ck. I hate these people.

  12. What a bunch of dickheads.

  13. Simon Murphy 15 Jul 2009, 12:48am

    And if anyone feels like copying and pasting an email to each individual member of cabinet in Lithuania to tell them you are boycotting Lithuanian products and services then get their email addresses here:

    The email address of the Prime Minister ANDRIUS KUBILIUS’s office is as follows:

  14. Lets just set Tatchell on them . . . Lithuania obviously need dragging screaming and kicking in to the 21st century.

  15. We’re lucky in this country, but I don’t take any of it for granted. A couple of weeks ago I saw a programme on BBC1 where they were discussing if gay people should be cured, yes CURED!!. OK it was some religious Sunday morning programme, but I was shocked that this would even be discussed on the BBC, and by the views that some of the audience held.

    Things may have improved for us now, and hopefully it will get even better, but who knows what might happen in the future.

  16. Richard I watched that BBC Sunday morning programme you mentioned . . . I was shocked that the BBC gave time to the invidious and insidious exgay movement, abeit sensible discussion which seemed to be lost in extremism

  17. John (Derbyshire 15 Jul 2009, 1:47pm

    Richard and John- Don`t think it ends there- I heard a so-called discussion on the prestigious “Today” programme- where James Naughtie-one of the core presenters-was discussing the “merits” of trying to “turn gay people straight”!! I was amazed that a serious flagship programme could even comprehend such a notion! How about “turning black people white” Good or bad idea James?
    Homophobia is alive and well- and the return of Section 28 is NOT uninevitable!!

  18. I did not realise Tory Conservative party was in power in Lithuania

  19. The situation in Lithuania is disgraceful, that’s true.

    Section 28 has been abolished in England for over 5 years, but underlying attitudes here have hardly changed. Sure people pay lip-service to the principles of equality and diversity, but when it comes down to real life there have been several recent cases of homophobic assaults and even murder where judges seem very reluctant to invoke their extra sentencing powers (which appear to be in their sole discretion). One of the most outrageous cases is the murder of Michael Causer (the subject of another story on Pink News at the moment). Not only was the principal assailant acquitted in the face of all the evidence (and having given contradictory explanations for his behavior as Judge King admitted), the judge went on to rule that the crime wasn’t homophobic (also in the face of all the evidence).

    Causer’s parents saw their son maligned in court, and then his main assailant set free. This was by a Liverpool judge and jury – So distaste for homosexuality in many people seems as strong now as when section 28 was in full force. The Causer case was barely reported by the national media – nearly all the national newspapers, and BBC and Channel 4 News and ITN. Nationally, only The Independent did a reasonable job in reporting this particular teenage murder. In contrast to others, Causer’s murder was virtually ignored.

    So what I’m saying is we should look to the covert prejudice in our own society, at the same time as condemning the blatant prejudice in others.

  20. It will take Lithuania a hundred years to reach the 21st century. In the meantime all gays in Lithuania should leave and head for gay friendly countries.

  21. It’s a terrible thing to happen there. But be all aware that our so-called civilzed countries are often no better then Lithuania today. Certainly Lirhuania is clearly breaking the EU treaty, but many countries do so! I am TS post-op and believe me: i am extremely lucky to have a comprehensive employer. Unless i would have been fired. Just try to get this to tribunal and you will be astonished by the delay. You WILL get your trial. 10 year later, maybe. So the only thing is to invoke EU parliament AND to take action in our OWN countries as well!! Yes, relegion takes a lot to the problems, but don’t forget that relegion is a NEW freedom to them they have to understand first. To luve to understand the dangers! So don’t condemn Lithuanians, or others, on behalve if their governments but let’s help them to understand the danger of their government’ position: LGBTIQ now and then? It’s all about helping them understanf what FREEDOM is! We should never forgert that our own countries may not be better, somehow! Yes we should complain at EU level! But do we complain at national level? As for TS: we are too few here to complain publicly. Do you see the problem? Let’ try to educate Lithuanians that now it is about LGBTIQ, but that it quite well could be in a near future about any other subject: russian, non-catholic, asian, non-lithuanian, not agreeing with government, …. Seems world has seen that: Nazis, Communism as in the Sowiet Republic, moslem ntegrism as in Iran and elsewhere! We have to educate, not to condemn a country. We have to condemn these governments. With the help of EU institutions, but din’t we have to educate these MEPs first???????? Yes, we have to act, but there is no common action anywhere! Sorry LGBTIQ community, but we have to act as ONE! Not only Gays or Lebians. ALL we have to act! Are we today able to do so? We should! will we?

    Kisses, Sara

  22. Terry Floyd Johnson 16 Jul 2009, 1:46am

    Lithuania’s parliment are homophobes and must be written up as such, and this law abolished from human writing…they are wrong, and they will suffer the consequences, when their own rights are taken away, and they are cast as evil by the evil brotherhood of polite society.

  23. Terry Floyd Johnson 16 Jul 2009, 1:46am

    Lithuania’s parliment are homophobes and must be written up as such, and this law abolished from human writing…they are wrong, and they will suffer the consequences, when their own rights are taken away, and they are cast as evil by the evil brotherhood of polite society.

  24. Patrick, Dublin 16 Jul 2009, 5:41am

    Lithuania deserves expulsion from the European Union for this despicable action of enshrining hatred and homophobia into their national law.

    They can be as backward and anti gay as they like – outside of the EU and out in the cold.

  25. Since this law is clearly unconstitutional, it will undoubtedly be repelled. The question is, however, how soon. The Liberal Party in that country has already brought the case before the Constitutional Court of Lithuania but their proceedings may take a long time. Also, any challenges from the European Commission will take time. The law officially comes into force on 1 March next year. Next May will also see the first ever Pride in Vilnius. It will be quite interesting to see how that goes!

  26. Lithuania and Poland used to be one nation. They are once again united in their homophobia, supported no doubt by the Church Militant. This law is a disgrace and surely against the Human Rights Charter and most EU equilities Law; they should be suspended by the EU until they repeal it!!

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