The Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas,
approved a bill Tuesday that bans gay speech in schools, Reuters
The bill prohibits schools from
discussing being gay and bans any reference to homosexuality where it
might be viewed by children.
“The amendment denies the right to
freedom of expression and deprives students access to the support and
protection they may need,” said Nicola Duckworth of the human
rights groups Amnesty International.
Lithuania similarly bans issues such as
the portrayal of physical or psychological violence, the display of a
dead or cruelly mutilated body of a person, and information that
arouses fear or horror, or encourages self-mutilation or suicide,
Amnesty International said.
The bill bans information that
“agitates for homosexual, bisexual relations or polygamy,”
calling such information detrimental to youth. Critics said the
bill's broad language effectively bans any discussion of
homosexuality except in a negative context, effectively legislating
"This legislation is homophobic
discrimination,” British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell told
“As such, it clearly violates the European Convention on Human
Rights and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. It also violates the
equality and anti-discrimination clauses of the UN Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of
"Lithuania has signed up to these
international humanitarian declarations but it is now defying them.
It wants the rights of EU and UN membership, but not the
responsibilities. Lithuania has no right to belong to European
institutions if it violates their human rights principles," he
The bill requires the signature of
President Valdas Adamkus to become law.