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Vile Lithuanian MEP expelled from parliamentary group after calling LGBT+ people ‘perverts’

Emma Powys Maurice January 21, 2021
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Lithuanian Labour Party MEP Viktor Uspaskich

Lithuanian Labour Party MEP Viktor Uspaskich (Getty/ PETRAS MALUKAS)

Lithuanian MEP Viktor Uspaskich has been booted from the European Parliament group Renew Europe after calling LGBT+ people “perverts”.

Uspaskich, who represents Lithuania’s centre-left Labour Party, had been ordered to apologise for the “despicable remarks” which sparked an outrage.

“Today in some European countries, it is dangerous to say that you are a representative of natural orientation, it has already become dangerous,” he claimed in a live Facebook video on 10 January.

Referring to LGBT+ people as “deviants”, he continued: “Most of these people do not advertise, but those who put their d**k under a skirt and go into the street and shout – they are perverts, and such things must not be tolerated.”

When Renew leaders demanded an immediate explanation, Viktor Uspaskich complained that his words had been taken out of context or lost in translation because Lithuanian is not his mother tongue.

However, he also doubled down on his homophobia by insisting he had the right to criticise those he views as perverts.

“I specifically pointed out that I am not referring to people who are naturally given a different orientation by nature, and I speak of those who scream loudly and lead a perverted way of life,” he said.

That was a step too far for the liberal political grouping, whose leaders announced on Wednesday (20 January) that they had voted to terminate his membership “with immediate effect”.

“There is no place for homophobia in the Renew Europe family,” said Dacian Cioloș, the president of Renew Europe. “Mr Uspaskich’s comments are incompatible with the values we hold dear and put himself outside of our family.”

In an email to colleagues seen by Politico, the Lithuanian politician apologised for any stress caused by “biased information” taken from his speech.

He implausibly insisted that he “did not have in mind or referred to gay, lesbian or other people of LGBT+ community”.

Related topics: European Parliament, Lithuania, Renew Europe, Viktor Uspaskich

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