Lithuania: Background on Homophobic Censorship Law

On June 10, 2009, IGLHRC sent a letter to the Speaker of Parliament (the Seimas) and to the Minister of Education and Science of Lithuania, urging them to advocate for the rejection of the “Law on the Protection of Minors Against Detrimental Effect of Public Information,” a legislative amendment which would have outlawed the distribution of information relating to homosexuality through any medium to which children have access, including in schools.

The Lithuanian Parliament subsequently passed this law and sent it to the President to either sign and officially promulgate the law or refer it back to the Parliament within 10 days.

On June 17th, 2009, IGLHRC sent a letter to the President of Lithuania, asking him to refer the law back to Parliament because of its provisions that discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

On June 26, 2009, the President of Lithuania referred the law back to Parliament, though his explanation of this decision included no mention of LGBT rights. IGLHRC again urged the speaker of the Seimas and the Minister of Education and Science to advocate for the rejection of this law.

On July 14, 2009, the Parliament reconsidered and enacted the law, with 87 in the Seimas voting to enact it, 25 voting it down, and 6 abstaining.

This law will enter into force in March 2010.

You can see the official translation of the law here.