O P I N I O N
by Anna Shepherd
Lithuanian conservative politician, former Head of the Lithuanian Parliament and current EPP Member of the European Parliament Vytautas Landsbergis has consistently expressed homophobic views and spoken out against initiatives to strengthen LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights in the European community, and particularly in Lithuania itself.
Landsbergis expressed his views about LGBT rights unambiguously in his outlandish claim in 2010 that paedophilia is connected to homosexuality. This claim was made at a parliamentary hearing on the sexual abuse on children organised in the European Parliament. According to Landsbergis, children should be protected from “homosexual propaganda” and “homophilic [sic] paedophilia”. Landsbergis’ claims were condemned by Cecilia Malmström, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs; and the European Parliament’s Intergroup for LGBT Rights, which stated that it condemns paedophilia unreservedly, as do all recognized LGBT organizations worldwide.