Lithuanian’s president, Valdas Adamkus, has vetoed a law passed by the country’s parliament that would have banned discussion of homosexuality in schools.
The amendment to “the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information” legislation would have added “propaganda of homosexuality and bisexuality” to a list of topics having detrimental effects on minors.
The announcement of the veto came hours after a demonstration outside the Presidential Palace by students and activists from the Lithuanian Gay League and the LGBTQ advocacy group Tolerant Youth Association.
While the country’s parliament has the option to attempt to override the presidential veto, European politicians as well as many human rights campaigners have condemned the law.
“It is my duty as an elected member of the European Parliament to act strongly against grave attempts to diminish human rights of EU citizens,” said Michael Cashman, president of the European Parliament’s all-party Intergroup on LGBT rights.
“This new law is a spit in the face of the European values. To limit freedom of expression based on homophobia is a clear breach of EU’s fundamental rights and principles,” he said.