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Lithuania to consider five anti-gay, anti-trans bills

Five homophobic and transphobic bills are under consideration in Lithuania
Lithuania is going to discuss five anti-gay, anti-trans laws.

Five anti-gay and anti-trans bills are to be considered in the Lithuania parliament later this year.

These bills include  a complete ban on gender reassignment, banning same-sex adoption and ‘criticisms of homosexual behavior’ no longer being classified as hate speech.

The first proposed amendment would place a ban on all trans surgery in Lithuania.

Official notes for the amendment states as Lithuanian society views 'gender reassignment as very controversial', it should be prohibited.

‘Society is not ready to accept gender reassignment practices due to certain psychosocial reasons, and therefore the permission to undergo gender reassignment surgeries will lead to a number of medical and ethical issues,' it says.

The reasoning goes on to ignorantly state it is impossible to reassign gender surgically because it ‘is determined genetically from the very moment of conception’.

Following a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), in 2007, Lithuania is obliged to enact a law regulating the procedure and conditions of gender reassignment.

Following a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), in 2007, Lithuania is obliged to enact a law regulating the procedure and conditions of gender reassignment. - See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/lithuania-proposes-anti-trans-law190712#sthash.EWXTuwNQ.dpuf

A proposal that will lead to a complete ban on same-sex adoption is also being considered by the parliament on the grounds of child protection.

The explanatory note accompanying the proposal stipulates: ‘every child has the natural right to a father and a mother’.

Two further suggestions seem to be aimed at stopping protests, in particularly Pride marches. One amendment seeks to make organizers of public events liable to administrative charges and fines for the ‘public denigration of constitutional moral values’. Fines could be as high as €1800 ($2400).

The second amendment, which has yet to be formally placed on the agenda, seeks to require the organizers of public events to cover expenses in relation to ensuring the safety and order of the public.

'Criticisms of homosexuality', a bill that could see hate crime made legal, will also be discussed after being postponed at the parliament's spring session.

It seeks to amend the Criminal Code by inserting a provision: ‘the criticism of sexual behavior or sexual practices, convictions or believes, or persuasion to change this behavior, practices, convictions or believes cannot per se be qualified as harassment, denigration, incitement to hatred, discrimination or incitement to discrimination.’

The bills are expected to be heard in December this year.

It follows Lithuanian lawmakers attempting to enact a Russia-style law banning 'gay propaganda', failing after the Central Electoral Commission refused to allow them to collect signatures for a referendum.

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Lithuania has always had a tug-of-war between those who want to be part of Europe and those who are more comfortable in the Eastern Bloc. I'm not saying they want to be part of the USSR again, but they're more comfortable with old school socialism and the social conservatism of that era (as opposed to, say, Estonia, which looked westward and never looked back). The reality is, whether they like it or not, Lithuania really isn't a very viable country without being part of a larger union. So it's either going to be with former Eastern Bloc countries like the old boogeyman, Russia (and outcasts like Belarus) or with the EU. That's their choice.

There is no way they should be allowed to stay in the EU if they actually pass all this legislation. The EU cannot survive if they have small nations dictating important social policy to the larger union. As has been mentioned, if LGBT Europeans can't travel or even live in Lithuania with legal protections, then what's the point of the EU? While I understand the comments about abandoning the Lithuanian LGBT community, the reality is, what are the other options? Do you want every country with right wing elements (and Lithuania has a lot of them) to start dictating their own twisted version of human rights?