Saturday, 26 September 2009

EU Parliament: Lithuanian law on child protection: MEPs say changes needed
Justice and home affairs - 16-09-2009

Lithuania should reconsider recent changes in its child protection legislation to avoid any possibility of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, according to the European Parliament.

MEPs say the wording of the law is "vague and legally unclear and might lead to controversial interpretations." They say it is unclear what kind of materials are concerned and whether it extends to books, art, press, publicity, music, theatre, exhibitions or demonstrations.

While acknowledging the need for "appropriate legal protection" of children, Parliament stresses the importance of fighting discrimination "in particular [...] based on sexual orientations."

Parliament welcomes more recent steps to review the changes and asks Lithuania to ensure that their laws are compatible with international and European human and civil rights legislation. MEPs want the Agency for Fundamental Rights to give an opinion and for Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee to follow up the issue.

Parliament adopted its resolution by 349 votes in favour to 218 against with 46 abstentions.
[Note: All Maltese MEPs voted in favour of this resolution -
MaltaToday: Casa and Busuttil join pro-gay majority]


In July the Lithuanian parliament approved changes to child protection legislation, although these are now under review by the national authorities. The law as amended bans "public information that promotes homosexual relations" from any place where it can be accessed by children, as it may cause "a detrimental effect on the development of minors".

REF. : 20090915IPR60711

Baptiste CHATAIN
Tel : (32-2) 28 40992 (BXL); email :

Tel: (32-2) 28 32006 (BXL); email:

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