Lithuanian Broadcasters Cite ‘Family Values’ Law in Refusal to Air Pro-LGBT Television Ad: VIDEO


An advertisement produced by LGBT rights organization LGL and featuring gay, lesbian, and allied couples will not be aired on Lithuanian television according to broadcasters. The ad depicts several couples living their day-to-day existence, seemingly happy; at the end, though, statistics paint a different picture of the LGBT experience in Lithuania. "61% LGBT persons in Lithuania feel discriminated against," it states, and still citizens are barred from viewing the video. The broadcasters, for their part, claim there is good reason behind the refusal to air LGL's ad.

Human Rights Campaign reports:

LithuaniaWhile the video itself does not contain anything provocative, commercial broadcasters fear that it may be in violation of the Law on the Protection of Minors Against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information. This law forbids 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.”

In an interview with Delfi, television representatives said the video raised some red flags because it spoke about various family models that differ from what is traditionally accepted. The video will now be reviewed by the Inspector of Journalist Ethics, though that could be a lengthy process.

The legislation in question sounds eerily similar to Russia's own anti-gay propaganda laws; we can only hope that the advertisement passes its review and that Lithuanians of all ages can see the positive message is represents. The likeliehood of approval is slim, however. Just last year an ad for Baltic Pride depicting a man whose shirt said, "For Family Diversity," was slapped with a mature rating and aired only after 11pm. 

Check out the sweet ad, AFTER THE JUMP


  1. TB says

    My mother always told me the Lithuanians are hateful people. She should know she married one. No surprise and my guess is they dont’t know Scott Lively and would think him an idiot if they did.

  2. says

    Interesting. I would think that the EU would intervene.

    The Lithuanian Sejm actually considered a law exactly like Russian one in March of this year, but it didn’t get enough votes. It’s curious that the TV station can do this kind of work-around, and also curious that that law (last amended in 2009) wasn’t mentioned in the coverage of the new law that didn’t pass.

    The main anti-gay guy in Lithuania is Petras Gražulis of the “Law and Order” party. He must have sympathizers in the TV world.

  3. says

    @TB: Don’t be so sure re: Scott Lively. He’s bragged about his presence in Lithuania, and often washed-up American anti-gay activists thrive and are celebrated in countries like Lithuania. Not that he’s the only factor, by any means … But that’s their new frontier, selling snake oil abroad.

  4. says

    Yes, Lively was there in 2007, and various anti-gay “Christians” mention him.

    And the 2009 law was indeed sponsored by Grazulis, who is still trying to make it more draconian. In 2009 it banned promotion of homosexuality, bisexuality, polygamy… and the president vetoed it. But the Sejm overrode the veto, then the new president set up a working group to somehow change the text. They took out “homosexuality, bisexuality, polygamy” and put in language about “traditional families” and relationships recognized by the constitution (i e one man one woman). I guess the idea was to soften the language and confuse Europe?

    It was already applied in broadcasting last year. First the TV people wanted not to show the ad at all, then they had the ethics committee look at it, and the only thing they found was that t-shirt, which was on a minor. God forbid a minor should advocate family diversity!

  5. Markt says

    It was nostalgic like the early mid-seventies as Hedwig would say. I guess they are at that stage of gay rights as well. Good luck they were quite sweet.

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