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No place for homophobic legislation in Europe

September 17, 2009 1:09 PM
Sophie In't Veld MEP

Resolution co-author Sophie In't Veld MEP

Today the European Parliament in its Plenary in Strasbourg adopted a resolution initiated by members of the Lib Dem (ALDE) group on the Lithuanian law on the "Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effects of Public Information". The resolution asks the Agency for fundamental rights to give an opinion on the law and the amendments to it in the light of the EU treaties and EU law and also reaffirms the importance for the EU in the fight against all forms of discrimination, and, in particular, discrimination based on sexual orientation.

*Leonidas Donskis (LLM, Lithuania*), one of the authors of the document stated: "The Lithuanian Law is overtly homophobic and profoundly undemocratic. It was vetoed twice by the former President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus, who was then overruled by the Parliament. In addition, it was severely criticized by present President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite.

"This measure has nothing to do with the protection of children. In fact, it is a very regrettable move of the Lithuanian Parliament towards state censorship.

"It is difficult to believe that the adoption of such a law is possible in an EU country at the beginning of the twenty-first century. If this is not the slide to state-sponsored homophobia and criminalization of public expression, what is it?" - Mr Donskis asked.

Sophie In`t Veld (D66, Netherlands*), co-author of the resolution, stressed: "This law is allegedly about the protection of minors. But it does the contrary: the law will foster ignorance and stigma. It will expose young, vulnerable gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) to bullying and exclusion. It will lead to immeasurable distress and suffering by young people. So instead of protection, it inflicts harm on young people.

"We cannot let this happen in Europe. Human rights, equality and freedom for all are at the core of the European project. These values are shared by the majority of our Lithuanian fellow citizens. I am proud that the European Parliament is the voice of our shared European values", - she added.