By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com March 13 2014 12:37 PM ET
Lithuania's parliament will decide whether to fine people who use sexual orientation as a "shield" to express themselves, essentially issuing fines against events like LGBT pride parades.
Lithuania's version of the so-called gay propaganda ban, according to the Lithuanian Gay League, was proposed as a counter to the Baltic Pride March for Equality in June. MP Petras Gražulis said the bill was intended to criminalize those who are not promoting "the harmonious, traditional family values [that] is often estimated as unfounded and illegal discrimination against sexual minorities for their sexual orientation."
The fine would go as high as 3,000 litas ($1,212 USD).
Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord said the law is repressive, which is "an alarming trend throughout Eastern Europe, where these bills are contributing to a dangerous culture of fear and violence against LGBT people."
Vladimir Simonko, chair of the Lithuanian Gay League, said his organization is calling for the Lithuanian Parliament to reject this proposed law.
"…We are asking for all the possible support from international human rights organizations in approaching national politicians, first and foremost the President Ms. Dalia Grybauskaitė, who has the constitutional right to veto the homophobic amendment if adopted,” he said.