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EU opposes Lithuania’s ‘Section 28’ homosexuality law

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  1. Har Davids 17 Sep 2009, 3:55pm

    If the law is in breach of EU and international treaties and anti-discrimination texts, what will happen if it becomes law in Lithuania? Will the country be booted out of the EU; has anyone given thought to the possible consequence?

  2. Anyone know how the Tories voted on this?

  3. @Dave

    They abstained apparently.

    “In a resolution sponsored by Liberal Democrat MEPs, the European Parliament has voted by a large majority to condemn new anti-gay legislation in Lithuania. The British Tories, however, abstained in the vote, showing their hypocrisy regarding their attitude to the gay community.”

  4. Sorry entered in wrong name…

  5. In case people are confused, it was the European Parliament which voted – not the “European Union”

  6. Julian Morrison 17 Sep 2009, 5:13pm

    I was against the EU for being undemocratic, now I’m all for them. Lesson learned: democracy can be wrong, and sometimes a backward bunch of yobs need to be told “no”.

  7. I honestly thought nothing was going to happen.

    I’m not certain things would move quite that fast if it weren’t for Michael Cashman. Thank God for activist, or better yet, active MEPs!

  8. @moamaom Thanks for that. I’m trying to elicit where David Cameron stands on the Alan Turing petition, but his office seems reluctant to respond to my questions or issue a statement. Somewhat more surprisingly the same goes for Nick Clegg, although I’ve not sent Nick any reminders like I did with DC.

  9. Anybody wanting to add their own objection, the Lithuanian Embassy is promoting a concert of Lithuanian music at 8pm on Monday at King’s Place, 90 York Way London N1 9AG (King’s Cross/St. Pancras tube)

  10. John (Derbyshire) 17 Sep 2009, 6:03pm

    The majority of the conservative party would be in favour of Clause 28. At the moment its difficult for them to admit it-so they abstain. Give them a couple of years in Government though-and they`ll try to re-instate it or something similar. David Cameron couldn`t care less about what happened to Alan Turing.

  11. dave whack 17 Sep 2009, 6:51pm

    i cant say i am surprised at the tory mep stance…but i am saddened that they could maintain this view of this section 28 law .no way would i ever vote tory . they are trying to get elected on the coattails of camerons so called inclusive persona. Alan Duncan is no support as usual.anyone know if there could be sanctions against Lithuania if this law is passed .

  12. Lithuanian guy 17 Sep 2009, 8:02pm

    Thanks to the EP, Lithuanian homophobes will have to complain. Unfortunately they respect only force, and especially the force of the EU’s structural found money and other sanctions.
    Thanks again.

  13. Chris(tine) 17 Sep 2009, 9:34pm

    Can anybody tell me how the German MEPs (S&Ds, Conservatives, ALDE, Greens and…) voted or who abstained? Thank you.

  14. I’m with Lithuanian guy here – I’m reminded of Hans Blix in “Team America” when he demands that Kim Jong Il allows him to inspect his palace for WMDs or else…
    “or else what?”
    “we will be very very angry with you and we’ll write you a letter telling you how angry we are”
    Unless the EU can back their position up with the threat of suspension as a member state, I can’t see the Lithuanian Government loosing much sleep over disapproval regarding section 28.

  15. @flapjack:

    Thankfully, diplomacy in the EU, which was founded on mutual respect and cooperation, doesn’t work that way. I don’t think there’s a place in Europe for such harsh rhetorics in this day and age.

    They’ll probably start legal proceedings against them. And seeing how Lithuania is currently afloat thanks largely to IMF and ECB, any threat with enormous fines ought to suffice.

  16. @Chris(tine)

    You can see the information on the votes here:

    On British MEPs the vote was 29 in favour (Labour, Lib Dems and Greens) and 3 against (BNP and 1 Con). The rest abstained or didn’t vote.

  17. Paul from London 18 Sep 2009, 3:25am

    If the Tories get back into Government soon, all that progress on gay rights in the past 9 years in the UK will be repealed I just know it.

  18. Paul from London 18 Sep 2009, 3:29am

    More informative notes:

    * Both The Isle Of Man and Jersey also repealed “section 28” as well in 2007!!!!!!

    * Bermuda, Gilbralter and Gunersey still have “section 28” and an unequal age of consent (16 for lesbians and heterosexuals – 18 just for gay men)!!!!!!

  19. @Paul from London – vote Labour and protect your rights, what there are of them. Still, its getting better.

  20. Sensibly Common 18 Sep 2009, 9:25am

    I published the list of all the UK Conservative MEPs who voted (and how they voted!) over at — I’ve added their office email addresses, should any of you wish to contact them and ask why their party has apologised for Section 28 but voted in this way…

  21. I’m getting rather fed up with Pink News’s Tory campaign. What has Cameron’s apology for Section 28 to do with a vote in the European Parliament about Lithuania except to persuade us to love New Tory (yeah – tell Widdicombe and Viggers)? And why has PN still not reported the mass Tory abstention on the vote? Vote how you like at the next election, Ben, but just deliver the news straight to us please.

  22. As you might know, one of the major political groups in the European Parliament is ALDE or European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. Only seven of their members (75 in all) voted against this resolution including the three Fianna Fail members from Ireland – Brian Crowley, Pat Gallagher and Liam Aylward. This only serves to prove that Fianna Fail is in the wrong company since they are seemingly neither liberal nor democrats! And this doesn’t forebode anything good for Ireland in terms of LGBT rights since this is their ruling party!

  23. Simon Murphy 18 Sep 2009, 5:34pm

    The evidence keeps on trickling in that the Tories are still a homophobic party and that David Cameron’s spiel about being an inclusive party is not true.

  24. I think once the Lisbon treaty is finally ratified I think (I may be wrong) a new EU supreme court will be established which will address issues like this.

  25. Mark Zamen 23 Sep 2009, 7:09pm

    The passage of this law in Lithuania is an unfortunate step backwards. Perhaps efforts to have it repealed will succeeed; let us hope so. This situation serves as yet another reminder that ignorance and bigotry are alive and well, both in the U.S. and abroad, and that a large segment of society still regards gay men and women as second-class citizens – or worse. That is the salient point of my recently released biographical novel, Broken Saint. It is based on my forty-year friendship with a gay man, and chronicles his internal and external struggles as he battles for acceptance (of himself and by others). More information is available at

    Mark Zamen, author

  26. Cameron said this morning (23/03/2010) in answer to a news conference question as to why the Conservatives had abstained in this vote rather than support it (he says the party is against homophobia) the reason was that it was policy not to get involved with the internal politics of another country.

    Richard Ashworth did not abstain, he supported the homophobic Lithuanians.

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