Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Youth Organisations Outraged at Discriminatory Law in Lithuania

The Lithuanian parliament voted to pass a law that bans information on homosexuality in schools or in media accessible by young people. The law, titled 'Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information', includes "the propaganda of homosexuality [or] bisexuality" as a detrimental factor on young people. It has been compared to Section 28, the law which prohibited discussion of homsexuality in UK schools. In June, President Adamkus vetoed the law, but parliament has the power to override him and did so today with a vote of 87-6. It is expected the law will come into force on March 1st.

Check out the following open letter to The Seismas, The Assembly of Elders of the Seismas, and the President of Lithuania from a coalition of youth and student organizations condemning the new law. Distribute widely.
Additionally, the following Yogyakarta Principles can be cited:

Principle 16 (The Right to Education), D: Ensure that education methods, curricula and resources serve to enhance understanding of and respect for, inter alia, diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, including the particular needs of students, their parents, their parents and family members related to these grounds;


Principle 19 (The Right to Freedom of Origin and Expression), A: Take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure full enjoyment of freedom of opinion and expression, while respecting the rights and freedoms of others, without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, including the receipt and imparting of information and ideas concerning sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as related advocacy for legal rights, publication of materials, broadcasting, organisation of or participation in conferences, and dissemination of and access to safer-sex information;

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