Lithuania ’Homosexual Propaganda’ Bill Fails to Progress
A bill that mirrors Russia's highly controversial "homosexual propaganda" law failed to get the votes it needed on March 13 in the Lithuanian parliament, Gay Star News reports.
The bill would ban gay pride parades, public speeches on LGBT support, LGBT materials and audio-visual media to promote LGBT rights. Those who break the proposed law, or people who have "contempt of moral values," would be hit with a $2,500 fine for "repeat offenses."
By a 39-to-34 vote (with 20 abstentions) Lithuania's parliament voted to bring the measure to a vote, however it wasn't enough to move the bill.
Petras Grazulis, a member of parliament and part of the Order and Justice Party, introduced the bill and said conservative politicians who didn't support the measure were "not only changing their political orientation, but their sexual orientation as well," according to Gay Star News.
"Why are you talking about family values? As I recall, Mr Gražulis, you just broke up with your wife," conservative MP Mary Cigriejiene responded. Rimantas Jonas Dagys, another conservative MP who is against the measure, said he sided with the "idea" of the bill but the current wording could cause "controversy."
Grazulis said the bill is necessary because of the "current weaknesses of [the] Lithuanian legal system, when promotion of the harmonious, traditional family values is often estimated as unfounded and illegal discrimination against sexual minorities for their sexual orientation."
According to Gay Star News this isn't the first time Grazulis has made ridiculous remarks about the LGBT community. He's linked homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality and has said LGBT people should be kicked out of Lithuania. Last year he was one of many who protested the country's second gay pride parade.
There are three other anti-gay bills currently being considered by Lithuanian lawmakers. One measure, created by Grazulis and a colleague, would force organizers of LGBT pride events to pay for all expenses related to safety and public order for the event. Another bill would ban adoption by same-sex couples and another allow the vilification of Lithuania's LGBT community, which the government said it opposes.