Opinion: Gays – Vilnius mayor’s last resort

16/07/2013
Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from The Lithuania Tribune: http://en.delfi.lt/44534/opinion-gays-vilnius-mayors-last-resort-201344534/

The Lithuania Tribune presents an opinion editorial by the chief editor of 15min.lt Rimvydas Valatka about the on-going ‘Don Quixote-like’ fight of Vilnius mayor with gay ‘windmills’, as published on www.lrt.lt.

There is no way that the Vilnius Municipality, or more precisely, Vilnius mayor Artūras Zuokas, is going to allow Lithuanian gays and their far more well-known supporters to stroll the capital’s Gediminas Avenue for an hour.

That became apparent after the mayor decided to once again appeal the ruling of the Vilnius District Administration Court by which the municipality was obliged for the second time to permit a gay march to be held on Gediminas Avenue.

Why is it that two court rulings aren’t enough for the Vilnius municipality? What is the point in bothering another court knowing that the ruling will nevertheless be one and the same, i.e., permitting the march to go ahead? And knowing especially that court proceedings aren’t cheap and that the judges are overloaded with work?

Could it be that Mr Zuokas himself is a closet gay, fearful that a homosexual shadow shall be cast over him? What then is the deal here in the Lithuanian capital where the main problem is a debt of one billion and where the mayor and his team couldn’t be bothered except when there’s some meeting to be held?

What the hell has made the mayor, with all his nature-endowed insight, come up with the utter drivel of the hackneyed argument that thirteen gays and a couple of lesbians holding rainbow-coloured flags can constitute a terrorist threat for several minsters for whom surely the most important thing is agriculture?

For those Neanderthals, who in this instance have started to shriek that gays have no reason to hold a meeting here and thus outrage the non-pilferers and non-adulterers and in general the most moral of Europeans themselves, we need to remember one thing – that it’s not about whether it’s good or bad to allow gays to hold meetings.

What the hell has made the mayor, with all his nature-endowed insight, come up with the utter drivel of the hackneyed argument that thirteen gays and a couple of lesbians holding rainbow-coloured flags can constitute a terrorist threat for several minsters for whom surely the most important thing is agriculture?

Whether we like it or not the court is going to give its blessing for the meeting to be held. And this the court will do as it would for lovers of the Cabbage Butterfly or for the Citizens Committee who explain that lesbianism is a childish left-wing disease that can be cured by a right-footed kick up the backside.

Mr Zuokas himself knows better than us that the court will pass its ruling thus. And if he does know it why is he buck?

The mayor of Vilnius is neither a homophobe, nor is he stupid. Quite the opposite. In this case Mr Zuokas is making politics out of homophobic fools. We remember the saying that patriotism is a rascal’s last resort.

And so to paraphrase this resonating adage and apply it to today’s Lithuanian reality, it would be fitting to say that Vilnius mayor Mr Zuokas is using homophobia as his last resort.

The mayor of Vilnius is neither a homophobe, nor is he stupid. Quite the opposite. In this case Mr Zuokas is making politics out of homophobic fools.

Mr Zuokas is clinging by his nails to the mayor’s chair. It’s getting more and more difficult for him to assure an administration of Dead-and-gone Rubicon affairs because even the municipality boss is no longer doling out one hundred million municipal deals for the “Rubicon” guys. And the mayor’s public relations campaigns, such as the obscure one of suing former Minister of Finance Ingrida Šimonytė, are ruffling feathers– even those of his champions.

Vilnius Mayor Artūras Zuokas | DELFI, Photo by Š. Mažeika

In actual fact, if the Vilnius mayor in his struggle against graffiti, potholes and dust in the city, spent at least half the energy that he is wasting on the gay get-together, which will last a mere hour, Vilnius would long have become an exemplary European city.

But that’s not the way it is. Mr Zuokas and his company have been governing Vilnius for a long time. Yet there are more pot holes in the streets of Vilnius and graffiti-daubed buildings and outright dirt that doesn’t go away not in winter or in summer. And the mayor of the capital is leaving the fight against the graffiti daubers to the home owners, who even have no right to apprehend and detain those who defile their property.

The mayor of the dirty and potholed city has little chance of staying any longer in his post. And that will happen if he is unable to show himself in another, much more superior light than that of a pitted and dust-ridden city.

So what is it that flaunting the Don Quixote spear at a few gays holding a public gathering gives to Mr Zuokas? Quite a bit. Due to the fact that homophobia continues to be a major defining feature in Lithuanian society, by positioning a cross in front of the gay march, Mr Zuokas becomes in the eyes of many people a new St. George challenging the dragon.

Mr Zuokas’ reckoning is most meticulous. Yet will the mayor of Vilnius still be saved by his last resort?


Stay informed
For media
You are here: Home > Guide to Europe > Country-by-country > Lithuania > Opinion: Gays – Vilniu...