Gay Pride | Lithuania

Anti-Gay Demonstrators Protest Lithuanian Pride Parade: Video

LithuaniaLithuania held its second ever gay pride parade today and, like the first one held three years ago, participants were met with anti-gay demonstrators. The protesters attempted to rush a stage that had been set up for pride but police in the capital city of Vilnius were able to keep them at bay.

The Associated Press reports:

They were met by hundreds of unruly protesters, 28 of whom were detained, police said. Among them was Petras Grazulis, an anti-gay lawmaker who rallied protesters with a bullhorn. He was thrown face-down on the ground and carried off in handcuffs by police, though the lawmaker soon reappeared at the protest after being released from police custody.

About 50 protesters tried to storm a concert stage where activists were to speak, but police forced them off. Protesters also threw eggs, hitting Lithuanian lawmaker Giedre Purvaneckiene and Sweden's European Union Affairs Minister Birgitta Ohlsson, who were standing at the front of the parade along with other dignitaries.

"It shows that we need to march until eggs aren't thrown anymore and people can march freely and without fear," said Purvaneckiene, who was not injured.

The parade, dubbed "the March for Equality," is only the second such event for Lithuania, a predominantly Catholic nation of 3 million people that activists say has not done enough to ensure gay, lesbian, and transgender rights.

Large segments of the population in Lithuania, along with other areas of the former Soviet Union, are opposed to the idea of equal rights for gay people.

Last week, an AFP article reported that the country's television broadcaster refused to air clips promoting pride during the day because they felt that the segments would "'promote same sex relationships,' which do not meet the constitutional definition of marriage as a union between man and woman."could be harmful to minors."

Watch video of police effectively push back the mob of anti-gay protesters, AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. Use of baseball bats and socks with soap bars in them is quite appropriate in this situation. Screw these bigots and start sending them all to either the hospitals or have them met their gods.

    Posted by: Mmike1969 | Jul 27, 2013 11:27:13 AM

  2. at least the police did their job and protected the pride marchers against those thugs. kudos to the vilnius police force.

    Posted by: jed | Jul 27, 2013 12:31:14 PM

  3. Any T-Road readers with some cultural context for this vitriolic hatred for gay people in these nations?

    Why are they so worked up? Is seems so disproportionate.

    Posted by: petensfo | Jul 27, 2013 12:50:40 PM

  4. I'm sure NOM and their ilk are behind all of this.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Jul 27, 2013 1:24:30 PM

  5. @petensfo,

    I just wrote a long answer about the role of geography but it was too long so I deleted it. Instead, the quick and more persuasive answer is the role of Communism and subsequently religion in the ex-Soviet bloc. The church (both catholic and orthodox) was outlawed in the region, and became champions of democratic reform. So while the church in the west was quickly becoming irrelevant, in the East it became something heroic. Then when the communists were toppled, the churches had a blank slate. So they were able to build their local churches in an idealised fashion, getting their followers to believe all the stuff that most people laugh at in the west. It's important to note that in all of eastern europe/russia there are still lots of people who are atheists, and almost overwhelmingly don't care about gay issues. But the violent thugs who attend these pride rallies are usually religious nationalists, who imbibe the gay hate theology in its entirety.

    Posted by: Brian1 | Jul 27, 2013 1:39:27 PM

  6. @petensfo @brian1

    Brian1, you're definitely right about the role of religion in promoting homophobia in many of these countries. In Latvia all the major denominations (Lutheran & Catholic among the Latvians, Orthodox among the Russians) are very homophobic. Lithuania is overwhelmingly Catholic and so the church's official anti-gay views are taken seriously.

    However, I would also add that the Soviet culture that middle-aged and older people grew up in was one where homosexuality was considered a crime and/or mental illness. This kind of experience growing up contributes to some people of this age group in post-Soviet countries reacting so negatively towards gay people and gay rights issues (or at least this is the case in the Baltic States, with which I have personal experience).

    Posted by: Aldebaran | Jul 27, 2013 2:19:01 PM

  7. Communism was very macho and homophobic, as is the christianity that replaced it. But poverty and education also plays a role, as violently homophobic people and countries are invariably poor and uneducated.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 27, 2013 2:30:48 PM

  8. @Kev C, which is exactly why the GOP wants to continue decimating the american educational system; the GOP's future relies on as many uneducated people as possible.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 27, 2013 2:40:50 PM

  9. Ar Katalikų Bažnyčia moko lietuvius būti Neapykantos žūties? Ar tai į gėjų, pavyzdžiui, link žydų pasipiktinimą pasipiktinimas? Ar lietuviai pasislėpti kryžiaus, o geriamojo, neištikimybę ir daug kitų pažeidimų įsakymų? Amerikos lietuviai nori žinoti tiesą!


    Posted by: R. Piragis | Jul 27, 2013 4:25:59 PM

  10. Ne verta nerimauti, pasaulis nežino, ką lygūs sambūvio. Tai tarsi šuo vejasi savo uodegą. Lyderiai mieliau žudyti, luošinti ir sunaikinti prieš numatant jos ateities kartoms ateitį. Žmogžudystės slepiasi už religinių priežasčių ir politinę galią. 100, 000 sirai miręs ir kokiu tikslu? 1/4 milijonai žydų Lietuvoje per Antrąjį pasaulinį karą .... dėl kokiu tikslu?

    Aš embarassed būti Lietuvos. Ir dar už tai, kad katalikų!

    Posted by: R. Piragis | Jul 27, 2013 4:38:06 PM

  11. @Kiwi, the problem is that the affluent can also be homophobic, but are less likely to use violence. The Mormons are an example of affluent homophobes who use government to discriminate. But without government power and money, the Mormons would revert to being violent thugs whose obsessive hatred of gays is greater than their love of Jesus. The difference between Utah and Uganda is money.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 27, 2013 5:31:29 PM

  12. Actually, none of you are right. As I wrote about montenegro affair, homosexual activists are seen as an extended hand of west, European union. They get money form it and sprout its propaganda, while creating conflicts, insulting traditional culture of both Baltic and Balkan countries, and promoting isues which are not in accord with said values. Also, I see you blame the church, but it is not a case here, as most of the young ones, high scholers are not religious but are against homosexual marriages and adoption.

    Basically, you in the west, especially in America heve no idea what is going on in eastern europe and it has nothing with cold war and whatnot ( macho culture, hah ) but with eureopean unions politics of exploatating countries of said regions, dictating them what to do, which is aginst pwoples wishes. They do not jsut protest homosexuals but all kinds of events that are seen as an extension of eu politics.

    Posted by: Saturnalia | Jul 27, 2013 9:40:36 PM

  13. @Saturnalia, I hate to say this (not really) but Lithuanians sound uneducated and stupid.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jul 27, 2013 10:18:44 PM

  14. Claiming that just because one does not inhabit a former Eastern block country does not render one correct. Basic human rights are ignored. Russian values versus EU politic aside, Lithuanians are carrying the doctrine of the Catholic Church that has a history 600 years old. Lithuania appears to stand on its own without EU money.
    Saturnalia check the statistics and use spell check. Voila.

    Posted by: R. Piragis | Jul 28, 2013 8:41:20 AM

  15. Incidentally, Kev C, Lithuanians would not be as ignorant if Stalin hadn't sent most of it intelligent educators and teachers to Siberia. Three of my aunts and uncles were deported (eventually died there or soon after), a couple fled to Australia. Communism was drummed into the students capitalism is drummed into the heads of the West. Teachers that fled the country had taken lesser positions because their degrees were minimized or thought lesser of. Lets just say Russia did more harm than good in the Baltic States.

    Estonia is still stuck with many Russian
    ex-pats. riebalų mišrūnai!!!

    Posted by: R. Piragis | Jul 28, 2013 8:53:17 AM

  16. I was at Baltic Pride in Vilnius, here's my report:

    Posted by: Andreas Moser | Jul 29, 2013 10:23:56 AM

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