“As a Catholic, I am a Bit Skeptical about Same-Sex Marriage”
source: atviri.lt (2013.01.03)
According to the new Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights (CHR) in the Lithuanian Parliament Leonard Talmont, the issue of legal recognition of same-sex relationships is way too controversial for the Lithuanian society. In the interview with the internet news service alfa.lt the new Chairman has expressed his skepticisms about same-sex marriage based on his religious values. According to Mr. Talmont, there are no major human rights problems in Lithuania.
“The issue of sexual minorities’ rights stirs a lot of emotions. During the Committee’s meeting with the Lithuanian NGOs, the board member of the Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) emphasized that an individual has to be placed before the norm in order to defend human rights effectively. It has to be noted that our society does not perceive these issues [marriage equality] in a positive light. The claims for legalizing same-sex marriages exist, but I, as a Catholic, am a bit skeptical about it. The majority population in Lithuania shares this opinion with me. Time shall place all things in order,” - says the new Chairman.
“We look quite well in the European context with regard to human rights,” – concluded Mr. Talmont.
Mr. Talmont represents the Polish Electoral Campaign, the smallest coalition partner in the current Lithuanian Government. It is his second tenure in the Parliament. The new Committee on Human Rights was appointed in November, 2012, following the general elections. The position of the deputy Chairman within the CHR is taken by the representative of the Homeland Union Mantas Adomėnas, who has actively contributed to the homophobic amendments to the Law on the Protection of Minors Against the Detrimental Effects of Public Information (can be accessed in Lithuanian here). According to him, he is going to embrace more conservative approach towards human rights in his work at the CHR.
It has to be noted that both the current Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights (CHR) Mr. Leonard Talmont and his deputy Mr. Mantas Adomėnas signed the petition by 53 MPs in 2010, seeking to ban the Baltic Pride March. The signers of the petition alleged that the march would “denigrate family values.” This motion by the MPs attracted a substantial amount of international criticism and was not taken into account by the Supreme Administrative Court, which eventually issued a permission to proceed with the Baltic pride March 2010.