Lithuania: Row over Istanbul Convention and LGBT
After the liberal-conservative coalition in Lithuania put the Istanbul Convention and a law on the legalisation of civil partnerships between LGBT people on the agenda in autumn, the debate has now escalated. LGBT opponents have threatened the openly gay chairman of the country's Human Rights Committee and collected 300,000 signatures to depose him. At the same time, Catholic priests are also under attack.
No one wants violence
Journalist Toma Bružaitė strikes a conciliatory tone on the Christian-conservative website Bernardinai:
“The European Commission has declared that 'gender' does not replace the fact of being male or female. ... Neither does the Istanbul Convention oblige countries to legalise other genders. What's more, it doesn't pose a threat to traditional values, but merely states that no violence based on culture, tradition or religion should be legitimised. I don't believe that the opponents of the Convention are really advocating violence against LGBT people. So people should calm down. The Convention simply states that everyone must be protected from violence. We are a Christian country, and I have no doubt that our Church will continue to defend the right of everyone to be respected. With or without the Convention.”
Duped by anti-liberal moralisers
Lithuanian society is being misled by absurd myths, journalist Arkadijus Vinokuras laments on Delfi:
“Partnerships between homosexuals and the Istanbul Convention are being cast as a veritable apocalypse. If you listen to the arguments of the 'moral majority' one thing becomes clear - they want to catapult Lithuania back to the Dark Ages. Open war is being declared against homosexuals, fuelled by the basest religion-based fears, superstitions and hatred for all those who are in any way different. And by spreading lies about the Istanbul Convention which the average citizen has never read. After that it makes no difference that 36 countries have signed the Convention, including strongly Catholic countries like Poland, Malta and Ireland.”