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Homophobic 'Section 28' Lithuanian law breaches EU rights standards

July 17, 2009 10:52 AM

Just as the Lib Dems were the only party to oppose the notorious Section 28 when it was introduced in the UK in 1988, the Liberal Democrats' sister party in Lithuania is leading the battle against a similar law being introduced there now. The Lithuanian Parliament, rejecting a Presidential veto, has confirmed a 'Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information'. This bans the "propaganda of homosexuality and bisexuality' from schools and other youth facilities.

The European Parliament's Intergroup on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights has urged the new President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek to condemn the adoption of such a homophobic law in Lithuania.

Liberal Democrat MEP for London Sarah Ludford has campaigned extensively for LGBT rights in London and across Europe and is a member of the intergroup. She said: "I am proud that the parliamentary group of the Liberal Democrat-allied party of Lithuania, the Liberals Movement, has filed an appeal with the country's Constitutional Court. I am delighted that their MEP, Leonidas Donskis, has joined me on the EP human rights subcommmittee."

"In the UK we are only just recovering from the ill effects of section 28 which made illegal the so-called promotion of homosexuality in schools. Whilst section 28 is now behind us it is incredibly disheartening to see such similar pieces of legislation being enacted elsewhere in Europe."

"The new law will increase stigmatisation and hatred against adolescents struggling to come to terms with their homosexuality and contravenes EU human rights and anti-discrimination law. The European Commission must take action to block it."