By Peter J. Smith
VILNIUS, Lithuania, June 18, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Lithuania’s Parliament has given final approval to a law that bans the media and schools from promoting adverse behaviors to the development of young people, including public exposure to violence, suicide, and homosexual propaganda.
The Seimas, Lithuania’s parliamentary body, passed the law on Tuesday, which prohibits the dissemination of public information that is recognized in general to have a negative effect on the mental health and physical, intellectual, and moral development of youth. This includes the spreading of information that "agitates for homosexual, bisexual relations, or polygamy."
The law, however, currently lacks any serious sanctions for violators. Lawmakers had debated, but narrowly rejected on June 11, an amendment that would have fined or imprisoned violators up to three years.
The final version of the law was passed with 67 parliamentarians voting in favor, three against, and four abstaining.
The ruling conservative coalition has backed the law as part of its continued efforts to strengthen and encourage the natural family.
The law must still have the approval of the President, who has ten days to authorize a veto after the bill is signed by Seimas Speaker Arunas Valinskas.
Amnesty International and activist homosexual groups condemned the bill, alleging it violates human rights, such as freedom of speech, and protection against discrimination.
Vladimir Simonko, chairman of the Lithuanian Gay League stated, "This is black Tuesday, institutionalized homophobia," adding that his organization will call upon the President, Valdas Adamkus, to veto the law.
However, MP Jaros³aw Narkiewicz, told the Polish Catholic daily, Nasz Dziennik, that he believed President Adamkus would sign the law.
“Members of parliament came to a conclusion, that behavior which has a destructive effect on children cannot be tolerated. The present situation in the media influenced that,” Narkiewicz said in an interview. “We see growing violence in the media, to which minors have access. We also see attempts to present homosexuality or bisexuality in a positive way, not only in entertainment programs or in talk shows, but also in educational shows. While the fact that these kinds of behaviors are against natural law and Christianity, is largely forgotten.”
Narkiewicz added that the law was not fully satisfactory to him since it lacked penalties that would discourage groups from violating the law.
MP Aleknaite-Abramkiene told the Baltic Times that lawmakers were not intent upon discrimination against homosexuals, but instead wanted to ensure peace in the community and respect for Lithuania’s family values.
“The public opinion is quite clear – they don’t want a demonstration of sexuality,” she said. “People want to live under their rules and let one another be himself, but not to intervene in public life and influence youth.”
“This law will create a democratic balance between the majority and the minority – we want peace.”
Lithuania and its neighbor Latvia have in the last several years become major targets of antagonizing propaganda and demonstrations from European homosexualists, who have staged or attempted to stage sexually provocative gay pride parades in the capitals of Baltic nations.
In both 2007 and 2008, authorities of Vilnius and Kowno prohibited one such demonstration, a "tolerance march" organized under the direction of the European Commission.
See related coverage by LifeSiteNews.com:
Lithuania Holds First March for Life and Family
Latvian Cardinal Warns "Gay" Pride Parade a Foretaste of "True Military" Attack on Nation's Values
Lithuania Mayor Backs Bus Drivers in Strike Against Homosexual Ads