The Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas, has approved amendments to a controversial law, stripping out provisions that banned the “promotion of homosexuality,” the AFP reported.

Tuesday's 58 to 4 vote, with 25 abstentions, was prompted by loud cries from national and international rights groups – who called the bill “homophobic” – and Lithuania's President Dali Grybauskaite.

The law approved by lawmakers in July would have barred the “public dissemination” of information favorable to being gay. Proponents argued that the law was necessary because positive images of gay people would physically and mentally harm children.

Critics say the law's broad language effectively bans any discussion of being gay except in a negative context, effectively legislating homophobia.

The new language introduced Tuesday bans information “encouraging the sexual abuse of minors, sexual relations between minors and other sexual relations.”

The changes, however, failed to mollify opponents, who said the amended law remains anti-gay because it outlaws the promotion of “any concept of the family other than that set down in the constitution,” which defines marriage as a heterosexual union.

“From now on, any of our public events could fall under that clause and be banned,” Vladimir Simonko, head of the Lithuanian Gay League, told the news agency.

The law is set to go into effect in March.