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"We must stand together to combat institutionalised discrimination in Europe" de Brún

19 January, 2011 - by Martina Anderson MEP

The European Parliament in Strasbourg today passed a resolution condemning attempts by the Lithuanian Seimas to drastically reduce the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community in the country.

This attempt, currently in the form of draft legislation, would introduce fines ranging from €580 to €2,900 for ‘public promotion of homosexual relations’, effectively cutting Lithuanians off from accessing information about homosexuality.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said "The amendment to this report in the Lithuanian Parliament could potentially criminalise almost any public expression of, or information about, homosexuality. This would include education about sexual diversity, something which encourages tolerance and acceptance of differences. It is only through free and widely available information that we can hope to challenge stereotypes.

"This completely contradicts the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"We cannot condone this taking place within the EU.  It is an absolute disgrace that such legislation has even been drafted.  The institutionalised discrimination of any minority group totally contravenes the principles of equality on which the EU is supposed to stand.  Today's European Parliament resolution also asks for previously-passed homophobic laws to be reviewed.

"We must not be silent on this issue.  In Lithuania the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community have been dubbed 'Invisible Citizens,' we must make our voices heard on their behalf."

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