The European Parliament building in Strasbourg.

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution urging Lithuania’s Parliament to reject proposed homophobic amendments to the country’s laws which would introduce the new offence of ‘promotion of homosexual relations’; punishable with a fine of €580 to €2,900.

According to Amnesty International, the law would punish almost any public expression or portrayal of, or information about, homosexuality.

This could include campaigning on human rights issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, providing sexual health information to LGBT people or organising gay film festivals and holding or attending Gay Pride events.

During Tuesday’s debate at the European Parliament, Viviane Reding, the Vice-President of the European Commission, expressed concerns with the proposed legislation.

She stated that the adoption of such a law would contradict one of the basic fundamental principles of the European Union – freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, welcomed the European Parliament’s resolution.

“We want to see EU institutions act unanimously, decisively and firmly against any attempts by EU member states to compromise or violate the very principles of the European Union. The member states should be sent a strong signal that homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression do not have place in the EU and the institutions will not hesitate to act when such discriminatory initiatives occur.”

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