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THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

20 August 2017
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Should there be gay parades in Lithuania?

In 2010 the Lithuanian Attorney General's Office insisted security was the only reason it had asked the court to annul a license for what would have been Lithuania's first gay pride march in Vilnius. "Whose fault would it be if anyone gets hurt? It might look like we are homophobic, but I am not sure if we'd look better with pictures of violence on TV," Attorney General Raimundas Petrauskas said. He believed radical and violent groups are organizing protests and provocations against the participants of the gay march.


Irene Simanavicius,
Toronto, Canada
Today homosexuality is discussed everywhere we go. It is shown through the television, movies, and books. Being a Homosexual in today’s society comes with many hardships. Although it has been more frequently discussed and talked about, there is always discrimination. Types of discrimination towards someone’s sexual preference are name-calling, hate crimes, firing from a job, violence, murders, and vandalism of property. Unfortunately, when you are not part of the norm you are picked on and discriminated against. Homosexuality is becoming a more common and open thing but it still has people disagreeing with its moral values. Homosexuality has many issues that It has to face in the future. As a society today, we will have an open mind to homosexuality but there will always be discrimination by someone, somewhere.

Irene Simanavicius ~ There has been a lot of activity for the last forty years with what has been called the “Gay Revolution”. It has been going on since 1960’s to sustain drive for gay rights, and seek to end discrimination against homosexuality originated in employment, credit, housing, public accommodations and other areas of life. This led to the start of Gay Pride Week that takes place in late June. Gay Pride Week is an annual Celebration of the “Stone Wall” or “Christopher Street” riots. These celebrations and demonstrations began in an atmosphere created by young people especially in college. Homosexuality began to be viewed as “unnatural”. By the end of the 19th century, medicine and psychiatry were competing with religion and law over sexuality. It started to be seen as a crime and a sin. Today homosexuality is look as both right and wrong. There are ongoing debates on the highly controversial issue.  I was so pleased to see that this was a topic that was discussed in VilNews and jumped at the opportunity to cheer this on. Living in North America we are all trying to be become tolerant of all of the diversity that surrounds us on a daily basis.

Homosexuality has become a very big part of today’s society. It effects a lot of people especially friends and family of a homosexual. Unfortunately, many families disown their own sons or daughters that are homosexual. Most of this happens because they are afraid, they don’t have enough information, or they are angered or too shocked to think rationally. Sometimes one parent will be all right with their child’s’ choice while the other can’t accept it.

Many friends of homosexuals are often confused about the situation and have many questions. Some examples of questions are: If you spend a lot of time with a gay person will you become gay? How did they become gay? If my brother is gay, will I become gay? Questions that seem really easy to answer are serious if you were put in a situation with no information.

Today homosexuality is discussed everywhere we go. It is shown through the television, movies, and books. Being a Homosexual in today’s society comes with many hardships. Although it has been more frequently discussed and talked about, there is always discrimination. Types of discrimination towards someone’s sexual preference are name-calling, hate crimes, firing from a job, violence, murders, and vandalism of property. Unfortunately, when you are not part of the norm you are picked on and discriminated against. Homosexuality is becoming a more common and open thing but it still has people disagreeing with its moral values. Homosexuality has many issues that it has to face in the future. As a society today, we will have an open mind to homosexuality but there will always be discrimination by someone, somewhere.

Homosexuality will never be a comfortable issue to talk about but we can help make a difference in their lives by supporting them as we would any individual.

But I digress…The comments were on going in the article, and it was quite evident we were quite divided. Due to the difference of opinions and language barriers between some of the contributors of this very heated debate, we were starting to become intolerant of one another. Opinions and ideas were getting misinterpreted, people were getting upset, we had some of us insulting one another due to the perimeters of which we were able to share our strong feelings and opinions that it became quite apparent that we would have to shelve this for awhile or like we say here in North America TIME OUT!!!


Viktorija Ruškulienė,
New Jersey, USA
“Lithuania has a great distance to walk towards democracy. Cases presented to court cannot be used as a statistical data, as the Lithuanian judicial system is corrupt and not working in many cases, people do not resolve their problems by law, as it’s done in other European countries. For example, police will not assist street or domestic violence incident until a murder or serious injuries take place. The rape victim has to have two witnesses of the “rape in action”, otherwise the case will be dismissed (my friend was in this unfortunate situation: raped by a policeman and had no witnesses).She was told that case will never reach the court.”

A wonderful thing occurred; a lovely woman from Lithuania and now lives and works in the USA by the name of Viktorija Ruškulienė popped up and had this to write on Facebook:

The roots of today’s gay right issue lies in the democracy of western civilization, which evolved to the level, where discrimination based on medieval religious dogmas are not tolerated anymore. In Lithuania only two centuries ago pregnant women were labeled “dirty” and were not allowed to attend churches (the main social gathering of that time). Only in 20th century women received the rights to own property, seek education and have competitive careers. And now the time came for homosexuals to have equal rights with heterosexuals in seeking happiness through marriage and family, not to be discriminated by employers and feel safe to live openly in local communities. There are more social issues to be resolved in Lithuania: women and child abuse, bullying in schools, sexual harassment in work place, employment discrimination, corruption in government and judicial systems, etc.

Lithuania has a great distance to walk towards democracy. Cases presented to court cannot be used as a statistical data, as the Lithuanian judicial system is corrupt and not working in many cases, people do not resolve their problems by law, as it’s done in other European countries. For example, police will not assist street or domestic violence incident until a murder or serious injuries take place. The rape victim has to have two witnesses of the “rape in action”, otherwise the case will be dismissed (my friend was in this unfortunate situation: raped by a policeman and had no witnesses).She was told that case will never reach the court. My friend hoped that her complaint on file will help future victims, but the complaint and medical exam results were delivered the very next day to the rapist, who threatened whole family of the victim and forced her to withdraw the complaint.

The roots of today gay right issue lay in democracy of western civilization, which evolved to the level, where discrimination based on medieval religious dogmas is not tolerated anymore. In Lithuania only two centuries ago pregnant women were labeled “dirty” and were not allowed to attend churches – the main social gathering of that time. Only in 20th century women got rights to own property, seek education and have competitive careers. And now the time came for homosexuals to have equal rights with heterosexuals in seeking happiness through marriage and family, not to be discriminated by employers and feel safe to live openly in local communities. There are more social issues to be resolved in Lithuania: child and woman abuse, bullying in schools, sexual harassment in work place, employment discrimination, corruption in government and judicial systems, etc. Lithuania has a great distance to walk towards democracy.

Cases presented in court cannot be used as a statistical data, as the Lithuanian judicial system is corrupt and not working in many cases, people do not resolve their problems by law, as it’s done in other European countries. For example, police will not assist street or domestic violence incident until murder or serious injuries take place. The rape victim has to have two witnesses of the “rape in action”, otherwise the case will be dismissed (my friend was in this unfortunate situation): raped by a policeman and had no witnesses. She was told that case will never reach the courts. My friend hoped that her complaint would stay on file that will help future victims, but the complaint and medical exam results were delivered the very next day to the rapist, who threatened the whole family of the victim and forced her to withdraw the complaint.

Everybody knows about how purposely “tangled” and “irresolvable” the case of a little girl, abused by pedophiles… We cannot skip steps in our path to democracy, if we want our children to live in a civilized society.

For me, all this homophobia and so called "rightful" and "pure" marriage definition is so absurd. If I had one child homosexual, one heterosexual, the third transgendered, and fourth one - frigid, would I support only one child in his/hers pursue of happiness? And which one would I need to choose? And who would determine that? Ruling political party? The church? The neighbors?

Lithuanians have lived under oppression for 50 years under the Soviet fist, and now people are rising in their pursuit to create civil democratic society. I'm happy to see how many Lithuanian citizens came to protect the little girl, abused by pedophiles and tormented by the Lithuanian judicial system. These people didn’t have similar situations in their family, but they united in defense of an unjustly system.
As long as only minority people alone defend their rights, the situation will not improve; majority shall protect any unjust treatment of other citizens. Someone here mentioned high suicide statistics in Lithuania. To be more precise: male suicide is the highest in Europe, and the roots of it lay in the sexist mentality.

In Lithuania there is stereotype of a “real man” prevailing, which puts lots of pressure on the man: he is the achiever, family provider, physically strong heterosexual male. In real life and present economically difficult situation very few men belong to this category. Every man at one or another in his life will fail this definition. The “real man” or “real woman” or “real marriage” concepts are understood differently by various individuals and social or religious groups. And when these concepts are forced on not conforming individual, they destroy a person’s self-esteem; it will make this person retreat and live “closeted” life, often lead suppressed person to suicide.

Lithuania is making leaps, not small steps in adopting and implementing EU Constitution and entering EU economical zone. This has consequences: local economy and society are not always ready for big adjustments. Lithuania is very small country and it does not follow US as a model, so all these comparisons to US democracy are only brought here to our attention because this is what we know the best. US build its democracy towards economical and military world leadership. US does not have problems like low birth rate and dying/emigrating nation, post Communism economy, post genocide and suppression mentality. "National heritage" and "National language" in US have totally opposite meaning of what it is in Lithuania.

A lot of Lithuanians do not want to accept the “Gay Issue” issue not due to hate or intolerance of different lifestyle. People think that pressuring gay population into heterosexual behavior it will help to recover our disappearing nation. They believe that this is a moral issue, that heterosexuality could be taught to children and accepted by influencing a person. I disagree as well, but when I talk to people in Lithuania, that's what most of them say, even medical doctors with decades of work experience think they can force everyone into heterosexuality.

The younger generation in Lithuania’s bigger cities is very promising; they have attitudes similar to any western European youth. Of course there are some hate and bullies, who are ready to attack a man with long hair or someone openly showing gay behavior, but this happens in rural areas, where differences are not tolerated. Gay parade happens in Vilnius.

I myself admire village culture, but this is universal: big cities shelter people with broader spectrum of cultural differences. My classmate from Vilnius Technical University, skinny guy with long hair, when went to visit his parents in rural area near Panevėžys, had to run all the way from bus station to his parent's house, since bullies were just waiting to get him, beat him and cut his hair.

Rural culture tends to separate itself from the city, they think: "oh, this is spoiled city problem, we don't have this", nevertheless village culture preserves tolerant, true to nature and human roots mentality, which city culture lacks.

An example from my personal experience: special needs child from the city by everyone was labeled as "challenging", in need of special treatment and help, requiring stretch of tolerance; while visiting rural area the same child was accepted as normal and treated with no difference, other kids were happy to adjust and tried different ways to communicate with the newcomer. When finally I couldn’t help myself but bring this issue up to someone’s attention, it was explained to me: "We have different kids born and we love them all, they all have different ways to be normal when they grow up". Go figure :)))

I know many good families with good intentions and they cannot tolerate gay behavior, just because they lack understanding.

Sex with intention of reproducing is lesser sin than sex which leads only to satisfaction (medieval thinking). Good families torment their own children who are born different. Once a gay marriage and adoption is legal and commonly practiced, parents will accept their gay children with greater ease.
Parents add pressure to their adult children into getting married and having children, this is acceptable and normal, and if someone due to health issue cannot reproduce - it's forgiven, but if someone does not reproduce because that's their choice - "more pressure should solve it". Will this formula work with a gay couple? If gay marriages and adoptions are legal, why not?

Category : Featured blue / Lithuania in the world

  • […] Read more 2… Category : Opinions archive […]

    September 02 2012
    CommentsLike
    • Pavilus

      I think folks over in LT don't need gay stuffed in their faces. I think small news articles about "gay" not being a threat, and some volvo commercials. I think seeing gay folks on commercials does more for the cause than any parade with "Dykes on Bikes" wagging dildoes or drag queens with their asses hanging out. Those are summed up in the amount of people on the floats in other words that's about how many there are in Lithuania. Mentioning how many RCatholic Saints were gay. Stuff that people don't know to ask questions about. People need to be motivated to ask questions and not have some overtly effeminate man answer. I know a lot of gay folks would say I'm bowing to the straight power pigs; but I feel it's best to show stable people who make simple sense. Parades should be allowed, but not so straight boys and bisexuals full of self-hate can throw garbage at them. The women who wrote previously said it all really. I, as an American-Lithuanian, don't feel that I have any right to say what goes on in Lithuania. But the issue isn't just Lithuanian.

      May 15 2012
      CommentsLike



      

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