The Lithuanian parliament is to consider four homophobic or transphobic legislative initiatives in its autumn session: a total ban on gender reassignment, prohibition of same-sex adoption, an amendment to the Criminal Code by which “criticisms of homosexuality” would not constitute hate speech, and the introduction of administrative liability for the “denigration of constitutional moral values and of constitutional fundamentals of family life, as well as organisation of public events contravening public morality”.
In addition, the parliament is to consider an amendment to the Law on Public Meetings, under which the organisers of public assemblies would have to cover all expenses in relation to ensuring safety and public order. This would render the organisation of Pride marches virtually impossible, given violent opposition by homophobic groups, and the consequent extensive and costly security requirements.
Taken together, these initiatives constitute both a serious attack on the exercise of fundamental rights by a vulnerable minority and a general incitement to discrimination. As such, they have no place in a parliament which respects the principles of democracy and human rights.
We call upon Lithuania’s members to this Assembly to oppose these measures strongly, and on the Lithuanian Parliament to reject them comprehensively.