LITHUANIA: MEPs slam 'gay hate' law in European Parliament

MEPs have voted 349-218 to condemn the recently-passed Lithuanian Law on the Protection of Minors from the Detrimental Effects of Public Information. The law is due to come into effect in March next year.

There were 46 abstentions when MEPs voted at the plenary session.

“The Greens are satisfied that the European Parliament has sent a clear message to the Lithuanian government that homophobia has no place in the European Union, not in its society and certainly not enshrined in any of its legislation,” Jean Lambert (Greens, UK) said immediately after the vote.

“This law contravenes the EU Treaties, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, and should be urgently repealed on these grounds.

“It is particularly alarming that the Lithuanian parliament succeeded in passing homophobic legislation under the pretence of child protection, when it is clearly in the best interests of young people to have as much information as possible on these issues,” she continued.

“Open discussion among young people is the best way to tackle discriminatory attitudes and the high suicide rates of young people who come out as gay or lesbian.”

Michael Cashman (Socialists and Democrats, UK), the president of the European Parliament’s LGBT all-party ‘intergroup’, also welcomed the adoption of the European Parliament resolution.

“This new Parliament has showed today that it will not accept intolerance and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and we will fight on to keep this stance alive,” he said.

“The ideology behind the text is pure homophobia. “It is crucial to allow young people to speak, think and act, in the respect of others who are different. Young people need education not isolation.

“In the United Kingdom, we succeeded in defeating a homophobic Law passed by a right-wing government in the 80’s. We should not allow a similar text to be implemented in another Member State.

“It would be a dangerous step back to the past, for the whole of the European Union,” Mr. Cashman, a co-author of the resolution, continued.

The resolution states that the Law is in breach of EU and international Treaties and anti-discrimination texts and urges the Agency for Fundamental Rights to give an opinion on the Law in light of them. It also reaffirms the commitment of the European Union to fight against all forms of discrimination.

A working-group has been set up by the Lithuanian President and a final vote will be taken before the end of the year. The European Parliament will follow the issue through its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

Further information



Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.