Five separate anti-gay and anti-trans bills are set to be considered in the Lithuanian parliament later this year, including a ban on gender reassignment, a ban on same-sex adoption, regulations of public events, and a legalisation of anti-gay hate speech.
The proposed bills are expected to be heard in December this year.
The first proposed amendment is set to ban all transgender therapy and surgery in Lithuania.
The amendment states that because Lithuanian society views “gender reassignment as very controversial”, it must therefore be prohibited.
It adds: “Society is not ready to accept gender reassignment practices due to certain psychosocial reasons, and therefore the permission to undergo gender reassignment surgeries will lead to a number of medical and ethical issues.”
The bill then goes on to state that gender “is determined genetically from the very moment of conception.”
The second proposed amendment is to ban same-sex adoption on the grounds of protecting children.
An accompanying note states: “Every child has the natural right to a father and a mother.”
The third amendment aims to make organisers of public events, such as pride marches, liable to administrative charges and fines for the “public denigration of constitutional moral values,” with fines as high as €1800 (£1,500).
The fourth amendment, yet to be formally placed on the agenda, aims to require such public events organisers to also cover expenses to ensure the “safety and order” of the public.
Finally the fifth bill could see hate crime made legal, introducing an amendment to the Criminal Code, stating: “The criticism of sexual or sexual practices, convictions or beliefs, or persuasion to change this behavior, practices, convictions or beliefs cannot per se be qualified as harassment, denigration, incitement to hatred, discrimination or incitement to discrimination.”
Last year, The European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning anti-gay laws in Europe, specifically calling on Russia, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania as well as Ukraine to address existing and draft legislation and “demonstrate, and ensure respect for, the principle of non-discrimination.”
Earlier this year, the Lithuanian Supreme Court was forced to overturn previous bans on Baltic Pride, after continuous pressure to allow the event to take place.
In 2009, Lithuania’s parliament passed a bill banning information on homosexuality in schools or in media accessible by young people.
In 2007, Lithuanian authorities also passed amendments to public order and cleanliness regulations, meaning that the police would be able to ban any event where they think a riot might occur, including gay pride events.
by Aaron Day
Source – PinkNews