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A robot will mock marry same-sex couples outside of a government building on Valentine’s Day

Jasmine Andersson January 29, 2018
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BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 09: The Terminator robot is seen in the paddock following qualifying for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 9, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

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It may be illegal to marry your same-sex significant other in Lithuania, but that isn’t stopping activists groups carrying out mock marriage ceremonies for LGBT Lithuanians by humanoid robots on Valentine’s Day.

In a bid to provide an early celebration of the country’s centenary on February 16, as well as to promote the rights of LGBT people in the country, couples will take part in artificial ceremonies carried out by a robot as part of an event entitled “the wedding of the century”.

The celebration, which will take place outside of Lithuanian government’s building in capital city Vilnius, will invite couples on the most romantic day of the year to be “married” by the AI machine.

While the rest of us may associate robots with fear, wonderment and just plain confusion, the chairman of the Tolerant Youth Association hopes that the robots will remind people of “bureaucracy”.

“We associate a robot with bureaucracy. It will act as we program it to act,” said Artūras Rudomanskis, chairman of the Tolerant Youth Association, told BNS.

“This year we want to spread the idea that people in Lithuania should become more open on LGBT issues and feel empathy for those who do not have such rights in Lithuania,” said Mykolas Knyza, chairman of the Lithuanian Liberal Youth organization.

 

The Mayor of Lithuania
The Mayor of Vilnius has previously offered his support for LGBT rights

Lithuania has lagged behind on equality, with no legal recognition for same-sex couples, no gender recognition for transgender people, a ban on same-sex adoption, and generally negative social attitudes to LGBT people and issues.

A survey carried out in October 2016 that 11 percent of Lithuanians would support same-sex partnership and seven percent would favour the idea of legalizing homosexual marriage.

In November of last year, the government proposed a total ban on changing gender recognition on identity documents, including passports, as well as medical procedures pertaining to gender reassignment treatment.

However, some attitudes are slowly changing.

For the first time in 2016, the Mayor of Vilnius welcomed visitors to the once-banned Baltic Pride.

“Dear participants of Baltic Pride, I welcome you to Vilnius,” he said in an official video.

“Diversity has always been the most important feature of the city. Everyone is welcome here, irrespective of sexuality, race, age, nationality and other features.”

Related topics: Baltic, Europe, lgbt activism, LGBT rights, Lithuania, Lithuania, robots, valentine's day

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