Thursday, September 12, 2013

World News

Lithuanian lawmakers to consider anti-gay/trans legislation
The Seimas, the Lithuanian parliament
VILNIUS --  Five anti-LGBT bills are scheduled to be considered this December by the Seimas, the Lithuanian parliament.  Tomas Berzinskas, spokesman for Seimas Speaker Vydas Gedvilas acknowledged that according to the draft parliamentarian agenda, lawmakers will consider four anti-gay initiatives and one measure that would ban all transgender therapy and surgery in Lithuania.
Berzinskas said that a summary of the transgender assignment measure notes that Lithuanian society views gender reassignment as very controversial.
"Society is not ready to accept gender reassignment practices due to certain psycho-social reasons, and therefore the permission to undergo gender reassignment surgeries will lead to a number of medical and ethical issues," From the draft of the measure; [translated into English] the bill's language maintains "it is impossible to reassign gender surgically because it is determined genetically from the very moment of conception."
The other four proposals would include a complete ban of same-sex couple's adoption of children, another two measures would make organisers of public events, ie; as pride marches, liable for steep administrative charges aimed at ensuring the public safety and order along with a measure adding stipulated mandatory fines for the “public denigration of constitutional moral values." 
The last bill seeks to seeks to amend the country's Criminal Code by inserting the following language:
"The criticism of sexual behavior or sexual practices, convictions or believes, or persuasion to change this behavior, practices, convictions or believes cannot per se be qualified as harassment, denigration, incitement to hatred, discrimination or incitement to discrimination."
Lithuania has a previously spotty record on LGBT equality rights. In 2009, the Seimas passed a bill banning information on homosexuality in schools or in media accessible by young people. This was following 2007 amendments to public order and cleanliness laws, allowing police to ban any event where authorities deemed a riot may occur-including gay pride events.
This year, a group trying to institute a Russian style ban on "homosexual propaganda" led by a Kaunas City Council member, Gintautas Labanauskas, was blocked early last month by the Lithuanian Central Electoral Commission barring them from collecting signatures for a referendum.
The plan for the referendum was also 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.