One of the prominent Lithuanian politicians has recently addressed the parliament of Lithuania and in his statement attracted attention of the deputies to the lack of tolerance towards gays and lesbians in his country.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Mr. Petras Vaitiekunas, said that Lithuania was one of the most anti-gay EU member states and that fact should have concerned as a serious one. The situation could not be changed only by the will of one political party or a minister. Lithuanian Foreign Minister added that such tendency existed in Lithuania since the time when previous generations including those who had lived in the USSR considered homosexuality as a perversion and a negative phenomenon. "Today gays and lesbians in Lithuania are deprived of many rights as before. In particular, to hold a gay parade in the capital of the country - Vilnius, following the example of many European states", - confessed Mr.Petras Vaitiekunas.
In April 2008 for the first time since 1991 when Lithuania had withdrawn from the Soviet Union, the European Council expressed its concerns with the status of LGBT people in Lithuania. In 2007 Lithuanian authorities several times banned to use rainbow flags as the international symbol of LGBT movement by members of Lithuanian gay organisations. In May 2007 the Mayor of Vilnius refused entry to the city for vehicles that had been taking part in the European tour against discrimination. The Mayor said that it was attended by a serious risk because it could provoke demonstrations and even riots in the capital.
The majority of Lithuanian population are Catholics. The fact that the Catholic Church is one of the most anti-gay Churches of the world is well known, so LGBT people in Lithuania feel themselves uncomfortable.
In 2004 the Lithuanian parliament adopted a law that prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in labour relations. However that law was adopted only under the pressure of the European Union and was one of the must-do condition in order for Lithuania to enter to the EU, - reminds Pinknews.co.uk.
Translated by Yerdna Bananes