Lithuanian lawmakers will vote today on a bill that would outlaw gay pride parades, public speeches in support of LGBTI rights, gay rights campaign materials and audio-visual materials in support of the rights of LGBTI people.
The bill would make such actions an administrative offense with fines of between $US400 to $US1200, and $US1200 to $US2500 for subsequent offenses.
The bill was introduced by Order and Justice Party MP Petras Gražulis in response to a Baltic March for Equality in the capital Vilnius in July last year.
Gražulis said the bill was necessary because of ‘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.’
The Order and Justice Party are part of a governing coalition headed by the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, led by Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius.
Gražulis has a history of making extreme claims about LGBTI people – equating them to pedophiles and people who have sex with animals and has called for them to be thrown out of Lithuania in the past.
The bill is just one of four being considered by Lithuanian lawmakers during their Spring session of parliament.
Another bill by Gražulis and a colleague would force the organizers of LGBTI pride events to pay for all expenses related to ensuring safety and public order in the course of an event.
Another seeks to ban adoption by same-sex couples, while another still would legalize the vilification of LGBTI people.
The Lithuanian Government has said it opposes the last bill.
GSN is waiting to discover the outcome of today’s vote and will update you when details become public.