Lithuanian Foreign Minister at LGBT rights conference: We believe in more equal society

30/07/2013
Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from 15 min: http://www.15min.lt/en/article/politics/lithuanian-foreign-minister-at-lgbt-rights-conference-we-believe-in-more-equal-society-526-356770

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius on Friday welcomed participants of an international conference on LGBT rights and stressed the importance of a more equal society and patience in working towards it.

In his speech, the minister said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported Friday's conference to review the situation of LGBT rights.

"We believe in the importance of a healthy dialogue and a more equal society. United in diversity. That is what the European Union stands for. That is a key to a strong society," the minister said.

According to Linkevičius, a dialogue is a long process but it also leads to best results.

"We can put laws and institutions in place, but we make them work only by making people believe that it is what is best for them and the society. In case of equality, by making obvious that we all win if everyone gets an equal opportunity. I am sure that all of us want not more of different rules, but different reality," Linkevičius said.

But, the minister stressed, one should not speed things up in order to ensure equality.

"Lithuania has come a long way making our democracy work. We do have to advance much further. It is not easy. It is not simple. But we should not give into the temptation to speed things up. We all know what happens to a car that is put on a higher gear before it’s ready. It can simply stop. So my plea today is not to stop. To keep the dialogue, to engage everyone building a more tolerant and equal society," the Lithuanian foreign minister said.

Vilnius is hosting an international conference on Friday to discuss the situation of the rights of LGBT people in the Baltic states and Europe.

The conference at the Tolerance Center is organized in the framework of Baltic Pride 2013.


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