Lithuanian lawmakers on Tuesday rejected a proposal to abolish the existing ban on disseminating information among minors, “denigrating family values” and promoting the LGBTIQ family concept.
50 lawmakers voted in favor of the amendments drafted by the Justice Ministry, but 56 voted against and 19 abstained.
The proposed amendment would have removed the legal provision that defines information that has a negative impact on minors as information that “denigrates family values, promotes a different concept of marriage and family formation from that enshrined in the Constitution and the Civil Code”.
“Hungary currently has similar regulation, and the European Commission has not only found an infringement, but has also filed a lawsuit,” Justice Minister Ewelina Dobrowolska said when introducing the motion.
The amendments had been submitted following the ECHR’s ruling that Lithuania violated the provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms on freedom of expression.
The Strasbourg court delivered the judgment in the case of now deceased Neringa Macate who challenged the suspension in Lithuania of the publication of her book Amber Heart. The collection of fairy tales, which depicts same-sex relationships, was published by the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences in 2013.
However, the university suspended the distribution of the book a few months later, citing as the reason a document from the Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics stating that Macate’s book was harmful to children aged under 14.
The office said its position was based on existing legal regulations.
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