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Lithuanian EU Presidency, Where is LGBT* (Youth)? - Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius
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Lithuanian EU Presidency, Where is LGBT* (Youth)? - Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius


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Presentation by Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius from the Lithuanian Gay League on the Lithuanian EU Presidency and the inclusion of LGBT* youth within it delivered at the LGBT Youth & Social Inclusion …

Presentation by Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius from the Lithuanian Gay League on the Lithuanian EU Presidency and the inclusion of LGBT* youth within it delivered at the LGBT Youth & Social Inclusion Conference (Dublin, June 17th 2013) an associated Irish Presidency event.

This conference was supported by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs (Ireland). It was organised in collaboration with ILGA-Europe, the International LGBTQ Youth & Student Organisation (IGLYO), the National Youth Council of Ireland and the European Youth Forum.

Find out more about the conference on our website here:

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  • 1. Lithuanian EU Presidency. Where is LGBT* (Youth)?
  • 2. LGBT* Youth in Lithuania: Laws, Sexual Education and Anti-Bullying
  • 3. GENERAL OVERVIEW  there is NO comprehensive approach towards social inclusion of LGBT* Youth – this category simply DOES NOT exist;  current status of the law implies that information on LGBT* issues is technically considered as detrimental to the minors – CSOs are barred from intervening;  there is NO officially adopted sexual educational program compulsory for all (public) schools;  there is NO official data on how many LGBT* pupils are bullied, harassed and experience discrimination at schools on grounds of SO, GI or GE;
  • 4. CURRENT STATUS OF THE LAW  the Law on “Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information” (2010) does not classify information on homosexuality per se as detrimental to the minors, BUT . . . A) prohibits information, which “promotes [sic!] sexual relations”, and B) prohibits information, which “expresses contempt for family values, encourages the concept of entry into a marriage and creation of family other than stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the Civil Code.”
  • 5. CURRENT STATUS OF THE LAW SCOPE of the LAW:  information has to be DIRECTLY directed towards the minors;  the provision has been NEVER substantially applied – the need for TESTING the Law. EFFECTS of the LAW:  CSOs are de jure barred from engaging with LGBT* Youth up to 18 years old;  young LGBT people do not have access to the appropriate information, support and necessary protection to enable them to live their SO, GI and GE;
  • 6. SEXUAL EDUCATION  NO official teaching program on sexual education has been ever developed by the Ministry of Education, i.e. it is not clear what is the content of sexual education classes provided in schools (if any);  the views and values of teachers and administration staff in schools: 79.3% DO NOT agree that same-sex relationships can be viewed as an alternative to the traditional family; 88.5% AGREE that family is based only on the marriage between a man and a woman. CONCLUSION: LGBT* issues are either absent or presented in a negative way within the curricula and educational material at
  • 7. ANTI-BULLYING STRATEGY  NO measures adopted for the protection of LGBT* pupils from bullying and social exclusion;  NO official data on how many LGBT* pupils are bullied, harassed and experience discrimination;  NO equality and safety policies, codes of conduct or training programs for staff with the view of promoting tolerance and respect for LGBT* pupils. LITHUNIA has the second worst suicide rate among young people between 15-19 years old in the WORLD (24 per 10’000) No possible link established – rather “protecting” LGBT* Youth from “homosexual propaganda” than fostering social inclusion and open dialogue.
  • 8. EU Presidency as a platform for promoting LGBT* rights in Lithuania
  • 9. 27 July 2013 Baltic Pride Lithuanian EU Presidency 20th Anniversary of Decriminalization of Homosexuality in Lithuania (1993)
  • 10. LEGAL CASE  unilateral relocation of the Baltic Pride 2013 March for Equality from Gediminas Avenue to the isolated and inaccessible area;  LGL appealed against the decision before the national courts – on 11 April 2013 LGL partially won the legal case;  the Vilnius City Municipality appealed against the decision – the Supreme Administrative Court will deliver its FINAL judgment on 18 June 2013;  the public authorities on the national level are disseminating the message that the local LGBT* community is intentionally seeking to harm the country’s image in the course of the Presidency;
  • 12. THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF THE PRESIDENCY  the MFA has granted an official status of the EU Presidency event for an international LGBT* human rights conference on 26 July 2013 in Vilnius;  the public authorities have realized that it won’t be possible to sweep the LGBT* issues “under the carpet” – it is becoming their well-deserved “headache” ;  the Ministry of Social Affairs is proposing to establish a working group on LGBT* issues
  • 13. LITHUANIAN PRESIDENCY and the TRIO  The European LGBT* agenda is likely to be ‘postponed’, i.e. Lithuania does not support EU Roadmap for LGBT* Equality and the new Anti-Discrimination Directive is not included among social priorities;  despite the fact that the EU Presidency provides unique opportunities in promoting LGBT* rights at home, the LGBT* related controversies might become the defining characteristic of the period;  some politicians are abusing the publicity of the Presidency in order to manifest that certain European values are not acceptable in the Lithuanian society (i.e. homo- and transphobic legislative initiatives);