Lithuania to vote on fining people who ‘promote’ homosexuality

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The Lithuanian parliament will vote next week on legislation to impose heavy fines on those who “promote” homosexuality.

At a first reading last month, MPs approved adding an amendment to the Lithuanian Administrative Code stating that “public promotion of homosexual relations is to be punished by a fine from 2,000 to 10,000 litas [£480 to £2,400]”.

A second reading and vote takes place on December 16th.

Last month, lawmakers rejected a measure to ban Pride marches by just two votes but Amnesty International said that the new legislation would have the same effect.

In a statement, the human rights group said that the “vague formulation of the new article” would “punish almost any public expression or portrayal of, or information about, homosexuality”.

The group continued: “These actions include, but are not limited to, campaigning on human rights issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, providing sexual health information to LGBT people or organising gay film festivals and organising and/or attending Pride events.”

Amnesty International is urging Lithuanian politicians to vote against the “blatantly discriminatory” move.

The legislation was proposed by MP Petras Gražulis, who is known for making homophobic remarks and opposing Pride marches.

Earlier this year, the country had its first Pride march. Politicians tried to ban the event but a court allowed it at the 11th hour.

Five hundred gay rights campaigners braved a 1,000-strong mob who shouted homophobic abuse and hurled missiles at them.