Two Parties in Lithuania’s Ruling Coalition Oppose LGBT Rights

The following report appeared today in LGL and is reposted by permission:

Representatives of two parties that are part of Lithuania’s ruling coalition, the Labour Party and Order and Justice, have expressed their views on LGBT issues to Deputy chairman of the Lithuanian Labour Party Kęstutis Daukšys was asked a question about the party’s short program, which states that members of the European Parliament representing the Labour Party are going to protect people from legislative initiatives coming from Europe that contradict the Lithuanian character.

He answered that this point refers to sexual minorities and other things that are not acceptable to them.

He added that the Lithuanian character is not the only argument to combat initiatives concerning sexual minorities, and many more can be found. “There are a lot of arguments. The short program cannot include everything. It is just a generalization. Christian thought dominates not only in Lithuania, but also in many other European countries. We have to take this into account.”

Representatives of the party Order and Justice are also worried about legislative initiatives contradicting the Lithuanian character. “What if the European Council, together with the European Commission, decided to change the litas-euro exchange rate, or to introduce a new tax for nurturing something related to rainbow colors. Are we going to rush to introduce them?” asks Rolandas Paksas, chairman of Order and Justice.

Political analyst Tomas Janeliūnas wonders how party members are going to measure the Lithuanian character. “Firstly, the question that needs to be asked is how they are going to conceptualize the Lithuanian character and decide if something matches it. Obviously, it is impossible that the EU decisions would suit all members of society. There will always be contradictory opinions. In that case the Labour Party is not going to find a single EU initiative that would suit the interests of all Lithuanian citizens.”

“In light of these statements, it seems clear how the recent developments in the Lithuanian Parliament concerning LGBT rights are part of a clear agenda of the ruling coalition” says Vladimir Simonko, chair of LGL (Lithuanian Gay League). “Our European supporters are carefully following the situation regarding the anti-LGBT proposals that have been discussed in our Parliament. And LGL will continue its work monitoring any anti-LGBT development in Lithuania. We will not surrender to attempts to divide the Lithuanian society on blurry lines such as the ones set by a so-called Lithuanian character.”

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