A proposed bill, which specifically prohibits speeches, posters, audiovisual materials, and other means of organizing in support of LGBT rights, by Lithuanian Member of Parliament, Petras Gražuli, was put before Lithuanian Parliament on Thursday.
This targetted “events such as gay pride march and parades.” It would impose a fine of up to the equivalent of about $2400 for those found guilty of repeat offenses.
Though a plurality of MPs voted to bring the proposal to a vote — 39 in favor, 34 opposed, and 20 abstentions — this was not enough to move the measure to a vote under rules of procedure.
Gražulis responded to the vote by accusing MPs from the Conservative party who did not back the bill of “changing not only their political orientation but their sexual orientation too.”
Conservative Vida Marija Čigriejienė shot back that Gražulis should not talk about family values since he had recently split with his wife.
The proposal is one of several bills targeting LGBT people, with others being presented before parliament in the coming months. This includes an explicit ban on adoptions by same-sex couples and the outlawing of gender reassignment surgery. These measures were introduced in “retaliation” for the organising of a Baltic March for Equality in Vilnius in July of 2013, while the country held the presidency of the European Union, said Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius, project coordinator for the Lithuanian Gay League.
“Because of European pressure, we managed to have pride go down our center of our capital city,” he said. “Homophobes were really frustrated because they could not stop it.”
The Lithuanian Gay League describes the proposal as a “Russian style anti-gay ‘propaganda law.”