Lithuanian Gay League criticises national broadcasters’ restrictions on gay pride clips

16/07/2013
Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from The Lithuania Tribune: http://en.delfi.lt/44839/lithuanian-gay-league-criticises-national-broadcasters-restrictions-on-gay-pride-clips-201344839/

The Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) has appealed to the Inspector of Journalists’ Ethics against the Lithuanian National Radio and Television’s (LRT) decision to impose restrictions on advertising clips for a planned gay pride parade in Vilnius.

LGL representative Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius told BNS that the LRT wants a clip to be broadcast with the ‘S’ symbol, used in Lithuania to indicate adult content, and furthermore broadcast the clip only after 11pm.

The national broadcaster also wants to label another clip explaining “tolerance and the diversity of ideas” with the N-14 symbol, used to indicate content suitable only for those over the age of 14, and to broadcast it only after 9pm.

According to Raskevičius, the LRT administration based its decision on the Law on the Protection of Minors Against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information.

This law encompasses providing restriction of information “which expresses contempt for family values, encourages the concept of entry into a marriage and creation of a family other than stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania.”

The LGL representative commented: “We have appealed against this clarification to the Inspector of Journalists’ Ethics. We believe that such a decision is not substantiated, and our clips do not promote any contempt towards family relations.”

“The clip simply talks about an event, tolerance, and the diversity of ideas. It shows that there are people with alternative sexual orientations and sexual identities in Lithuania,” he said.

“It is proof that laws banning the propaganda of homosexuality are effectively in place in Lithuania, and we can clearly draw a parallel with what is going on in Russia and Ukraine,” he added.

Rimvydas Paleckis, the LRT’s deputy director general, confirmed to BNS that he had signed a letter to the LGL, explaining why the particular timings after 9pm and 11pm were chosen, however he did not explain the reasons.

The LGL’s response has not yet been received.

“We, first of all, avoid violations of any laws, including the law on the protection of minors and the Law on Advertising etc. This is the context we are negotiating in,” Paleckis said.

“We have made several proposals to them as to how, according to our Advertising Division, advertising should be without legal violations. We are now waiting for their position and common agreement,” he further commented.

Produced with financial help from France, the video show Lithuanians stating that they are of different sexual orientations and in support of the Baltic Pride parade, which is planned in late July.

The planned parade is still a subject of legal disputes.


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