Homophobic lawmakers and restrictions on free expression mar Lithuania’s LGBTI rights record

DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

Launched in Montenegro on Sunday, at the 2015 European IDAHOT Forum celebrating International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (17 May), the 2015 Rainbow Europe package highlights the complexity of the current situation for LGBTI people in Europe.

“We witnessed several countries making historic strides, while others have stalled in terms of their equality development,” commented Paulo Côrte-Real, co-chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board. “The vital ingredient, present in so many of the countries who have climbed in our Rainbow Map rankings, was unshakable leadership from political figures and activist leaders, often in challenging contexts.”

Lithuania ranked 35th among 49 European countries, just behind Italy (No. 34) and below neighbouring countries like Estonia (No. 24) and Poland (No. 33), but above Latvia (No. 37).

“Lawmakers debated numerous proposals to restrict LGBTI rights to freedom of expression and assembly, although none were adopted this year. Proposals were mostly the work of two rogue lawmakers, but received support from MPs across political groups (the Liberal Movement alone systematically opposed anti-LGBTI initiatives),” ILGA-Europe wrote about Lithuania in its Annual Review 2015.

“Ominously, two fairy tales and a video presenting LGBTI families as being equal to others were banned, or saw their broadcasting severely restricted. MPs also actively kept legal gender recognition off the statute books.”

Find here the Rainbow Europe Package 2015

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