Lithuania MPs votes for gay promotion ban
VILNIUS - Lithuania – Agence France-Presse | 7/14/2009 12:00:00 AM |
Lithuania's parliament backs a controversial child-protection law that aims to ban what supporters dub the promotion of homosexuality, overturning a presidential veto
Lithuania's parliament Tuesday backed a controversial child-protection law that aims to ban what supporters dub the promotion of homosexuality, overturning a presidential veto.
Eighty-six of the Baltic state's 141 lawmakers voted in favor, while six were against, 25 abstained, and the remainder did not take part.
Gay rights campaigners blasted the move.
"Parliament has demonstrated its will to institutionalize homophobia," said Vladimir Simonko, head of the Lithuanian Gay League.
Homosexuality is frowned upon by many in Lithuania, where the vast majority of the population of 3.3 million is Roman Catholic.
Sixty-seven lawmakers had approved the bill on June 16, but Lithuania's outgoing president, Valdas Adamkus, refused to sign it ten days later. Under Lithuania's constitution, supporters of the law needed to muster 71 votes to overturn his veto.
Adamkus retired Sunday after serving out two five-year terms. The law does not allow his successor, Dalia Grybauskaite, to reimpose a veto.
The law, due to come into force in March 2010, bars the public dissemination of information favourable to homosexuality on the grounds that it could harm the mental health and physical, intellectual and moral development of youngsters.
The legislation - which also covers bisexuality, polygamy, horror and the paranormal, foul language and bad eating, hygiene and exercise habits -- does not specifically define public dissemination nor set down the punishment for offenders.