"Family Defence March" in Lithuania

On Saturday, International Day of Families, around 10,000 people took part in the Family Defence March in Vilnius to protest against current developments that they perceive as a threat to traditional family values, such as the Istanbul Convention and LGBT+ rights. A video speech delivered by President Gitanas Nausėda on the same day was interpreted by the organisers as a sign of support.

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Lietuvos rytas (LT) /

You can't please everyone

Lietuvos rytas criticises the president's video message:

“Listening to his speech, it was clear that he'd negotiated the content with both sides. He pledged to support homosexual partnerships but at the same time stressed that they should in no way be put on an equal footing with the traditional family comprised of man and woman. So it's no surprise that there were disappointed people on both sides of the barricades after this greeting. Nausėda tried to please everyone - and failed.”

Delfi (LT) /

A gathering point for attention-seekers

The 'family defence' protests will turn into a political movement, predicts Delfi:

“Family and children are ideal topics for attracting attention and mobilising society. If you don't have the inclination or capacity to analyse who or what is behind such initiatives, they may seem completely fine. But closer inspection is very important here. Who are the people who are organising them? What do they do, and what did they do it the now and in the past? What values do they stand for? What are their real goals? What are their motives? Such initiatives attract all kinds of radical personalities and politicians who have been marginalised for some time because of their failed policies and scandals.”

Új Szó (SK) /

Post-socialist dividing and ruling

In Eastern Europe, governments often use the topic of family for their own ends, observes Új Szó:

“In the post-socialist countries, the concept of the so-called traditional family functions as a mantra. ... The current government, if its power is strong enough, could go as far as to enshrine its own concept of the traditional family in the constitution. ... [Meanwhile] it also knows that the truth cannot be changed by legislation. With this strategy it only divides the population into groups, gives them bogus arguments and pits them against each other so that it can rule in peace.”