지난 3월1일 리투아니아에서는 레즈비언, 게이, 양성애자와 성전환자의 권리와 관련한 공공 정보 배포를 제한하는 “공공 정보의 유해한 영향에 대한 소수자 보호 법안”이 발효됐다.
이 법안은 18세 미만의 아동과 청소년이 접근할 수 있는 공공 장소에 “동성애자, 양성애자, 일부 다처주의자들의 관계를 알리는 정보”의 출판을 금지하는 내용을 담고 있다.
앞으로 공공 장소에서 동성애 관계를 밝히거나 동성 결혼을 옹호하는 일은 이 새 법에 의해 금지된다.
국제앰네스티와 유럽 의회 등 여러 국제단체들은 동성애 혐오적이고 차별적인 이러한 조항들에 대해 “시대착오적”이라며 비난하고 있다.
국제앰네스티는 리투아니아 정부에 “표현의 자유를 침해하는” 이 새 법안의 시행을 중단할 것을 촉구했다. 국제앰네스티의 차별문제 전문가 존 달후이센(John Dalhuisen)은 이 법에 대해 “게이와 레즈비언들에게 낙인을 찍는 것이며 자신의 권리를 주장하는 이들을 검열과 벌금형에 처하게 될 위험 속에 몰아놓는 것”이라고 지적했다.
Homophobic law to enter into force in Lithuania
A new law restricting the distribution of public information relating to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people enters into force next week.Amnesty International has called on the authorities of Lithuania to remove all restrictions on the distribution of public information relating to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people decreed in a new law.
The controversial “Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information” enters into force next Monday, 1 March.
“This law will violate the freedom of expression and will directly discriminate against people on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said John Dalhuisen, expert on discrimination at Amnesty International.
“It will stigmatize gay and lesbian people and exposes advocates for their rights to the risk of censorship and financial penalties.”
“This law is an anachronism in the European Union.”
The law, as originally adopted on 14 July 2009, was criticized by Amnesty International and other international organizations, including the European Parliament, for containing homophobic and discriminatory provisions.
In its original version the law prohibited the publication of “information which agitates for homosexual, bisexual and polygamous relations” in places, including schools, public spaces and media which are accessible to persons under 18 years of age.
In the light of international criticism and the misgivings of the Lithuanian President, the law was amended on 28 December 2010. All direct references to the promotion of homosexuality have been removed.
However, the amended law now classifies any information which “denigrates family values” or which “encourages a concept of marriage and family other than stipulated in the Constitution … and the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania” as detrimental to children and consequently bans it from places accessible to them.
As marriage is defined in Lithuanian law as the union of a man and a woman, any public promotion of same-sex partnerships, or advocacy for equality in marriage, would be prohibited under the new law.
“The Lithuanian authorities must not implement the law which discriminates against gay and lesbian people and restricts their freedom of expression,” John Dalhuisen said.