Tech & Rights

Attempts to Ban Baltic Pride 2019 Countered with a Message of Peace

Following a slew of leaflets urging them to sign a petition to ban Baltic Pride 2019, civic-minded Lithuanians responded by sending rainbow hearts back to the organizers.

by Human Rights Monitoring Institute

Lithuanian Christian institute floods mailboxes with anti-gay literature

In recent weeks, residents of Lithuania have found their mailboxes inundated with petition leaflets from the Christian Cultural Institute (whose motto is “For Family, the Nation and Civilisation!”). The leaflets claimed that “homosexual and transsexual propaganda and publicity” are on the rise in Lithuania, just as they are in Western Europe. According to the authors of the leaflets, next year's Baltic Pride 2019 violates the Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information and is unconstitutional.

The Institute claims to have already paid for signed leaflets to be sent back to them, promising certificates to all respondents who supply their personal details. The petition is expected to be submitted to Parliament, the Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics and the Vilnius city municipal government.

Respondents let their feelings be known with rainbow stickers

In response, the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights launched the campaign “May God Help You”, which involved putting rainbow heart stickers on the leaflets before sending them back. According to the event’s description, “Hatred is no virtue for Christians or those of other faiths – or no faith at all. Hatred makes families go against each other, isolates the subjects of hate from the community ... We send a message of love, not hatred.” The participants of the event, who numbered around 100, made it clear that discrimination against the LGBT community was unjustifiable.

The Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson also petitioned the Prosecutor General's Office to launch an investigation, claiming that the Institute’s initiative was aimed at preventing a group of people (or its members) from participating in political, economic, social, cultural, work or other life on equal terms, or restricting said group’s (or its members’) rights and freedoms, due to the sexual orientation of the members.

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