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Euro MPs Condemn New Anti Gay Law in Lithuania by a 349-218 Margin

 

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STRASBOURG, September 17, 2009    MEPs have voted 349-218 to condemn the recently-passed Lithuanian Law on the Protection of Minors from the Detrimental Effects of Public Information.  The law is due to come into effect in March next year.

There were 46 abstentions when MEPs voted at the plenary session.

“The Greens are satisfied that the European Parliament has sent a clear message to the Lithuanian government that homophobia has no place in the European Union, not in its society and certainly not enshrined in any of its legislation,” Jean Lambert (Greens, UK) said immediately after the vote.

“This law contravenes the EU Treaties, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, and should be urgently repealed on these grounds.

“It is particularly alarming that the Lithuanian parliament succeeded in passing homophobic legislation under the pretence of child protection, when it is clearly in the best interests of young people to have as much information as possible on these issues,” she continued.

“Open discussion among young people is the best way to tackle discriminatory attitudes and the high suicide rates of young people who come out as gay or lesbian.”

Michael Cashman (Socialists and Democrats, UK), the president of the European Parliament’s LGBT all-party ‘intergroup’, also welcomed the adoption of the European Parliament resolution.

“This new Parliament has showed today that it will not accept intolerance and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and we will fight on to keep this stance alive,” he said.

“The ideology behind the text is pure homophobia.  “It is crucial to allow young people to speak, think and act, in the respect of others who are different. Young people need education not isolation.

“In the United Kingdom, we succeeded in defeating a homophobic Law passed by a right-wing government in the 80’s.  We should not allow a similar text to be implemented in another Member State.

“It would be a dangerous step back to the past, for the whole of the European Union,” Mr. Cashman, a co-author of the resolution, continued.

The resolution states that the Law is in breach of EU and international Treaties and anti-discrimination texts and urges the Agency for Fundamental Rights to give an opinion on the Law in light of them.  It also reaffirms the commitment of the European Union to fight against all forms of discrimination.

A working-group has been set up by the Lithuanian President and a final vote will be taken before the end of the year. The European Parliament will follow the issue through its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

SEE ALSO

MEPs Slam Lithuanian ‘Gay Hate Law’ in European Parliament.  European values and surprise that a member state of the European Union could introduce what is seen as a “homophobic” law in the 21st century came to the fore as MEPs debated the “Law on the Protection of Minors from the Detrimental Effects of Public Information”, passed by the Lithuanian Seimas Parliament last June and due to become effective in March 2010.  (UK Gay News, September 16, 2009)

MEPs to Quiz European Council and Commission on Lithuanian ‘Anti Gay’ Law.   MEPs are set to quiz officials from the European Council of Ministers and the European Commission at the plenary session of the European Parliament this afternoon on the controversial ‘anti-gay’ legislation passed by the Lithuanian Seimas (Parliament) last summer.  (UK Gay News, September 16, 2009)

 

 

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Posted: 17 Sep 2009 at 12:30 (UK time)
(updated at 13:00)

   
             
       

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