The Lithuanian Central Electoral Commission on Monday refused registration for a group trying to institute a Russian style ban on so-called ‘homosexual propaganda,’ – blocking them from collecting signatures for a referendum.
The commissioners ruled five against registering the group, four in favor, with two commissioners abstaining.
The move to institute a ‘homosexual propaganda’ ban is being lead by Kaunas City Council member Gintautas Labanauskas and would ban, ‘any information related with propagation of homosexuality.’
‘[there] should be no aggressive advertisement of homosexuality,’ Labanauskas told the Lithuania Chronicle.
The plan for a referendum on the issue was opposed by the Legal Department of the Lithuanian Parliament which told the Commission that a ban on discussion of LGBT issues would be discriminatory and run counter to the Lithuanian Constitution and international conventions.
Labanauskas claimed that a ban on ‘homosexual propaganda’ was not a form of discrimination.
‘In our opinion, we do not violate any laws or legal acts, furthermore, we do not restrict minority rights,’ Labanauskas said.
Labanauskas has not ruled out taking the Commission to court to allow him to start collecting signatures for a referendum.
He would need to collect 300,000 signatures from eligible voters within three months to get a referendum on the issue if allowed to proceed.