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THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

1 October 2014
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OPINIONS


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    • Vilnius authorities
      ban upcoming
      Baltic Pride march


      Vilnius municipal authorities ban the upcoming Baltic Pride march, even if Lithuania’s Supreme Administrative Court this week confirmed a ruling from the First Instance Court, stating that the Vilnius municipality was in breach of domestic law on peaceful assemblies by denying the possibility for the march to take place in the city centre.

      Last January, Vilnius municipal authorities said the march could not be held along the Gediminas Avenue, in the centre of the city, claiming it would force shops and hotels to shut down due to security concerns, and, instead, proposed a secluded location along the banks of the Neris River.

      Municipal authorities also claim the proposed route is too close to judicial and governmental buildings, raising national security concerns. However, in the past, demonstrations have been allowed on the same avenue.

      “The decision to ban the Baltic Pride march on security grounds is disproportionate, given that the Vilnius authorities refused to engage in constructive discussions with the Lithuania Gay League, despite rulings by domestic Courts’ saying that negotiations had to be re-opened,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Director at Amnesty International.

      Amnesty International has launched a petition calling on Lithuanian authorities to ensure the event takes place according to the organizers’ plans and that adequate protection is provided.

      The Vilnius municipal authorities sought to block the first Baltic Pride in Vilnius in 2010, but the event ultimately went ahead following a court-ruling.

      “It is frankly amazing that three years after the first Baltic Pride in Vilnius, we are back in exactly the same situation as before, with the City authorities openly refusing to respect the freedom of assembly of Pride participants and seemingly prepared to ignore administrative court rulings.”

      Comments

      Arunas Teiserskis The problem here is social conservatism, which has nothing to do with nationhood or freedom. Discrimination of gays was just recently widely accepted by lots of societies in the world and even enshrined in many religions (and still is). So changing this attitude won't be easy and will definitely not be done by means of directives "from above". Take note, that Lithuanian people were liberated from Soviet ideology, which they tried to replace either by Western liberalism or the same Western mainly Christian conservatism. And both proponents of those conflicting ideologies are accusing each other of being Soviet-style, what doesn't help to discuss in calm fashion. And by virtue of being anti-Soviet even neo-Nazis are deemed by social conservatives as less appalling than the open gayness. This problem exists in the West as well (especially taking into account recent decision of Supreme Court in the US, because if there were no problems with than, there would have been no need of Supreme Court involvement), so this is just another case of worldwide problem in separate country - which should be confronted, of course. Though one didn't talk about the whole US and its all population acting in backward and primitive fashion, when the DOMA was voted in. So please reserve your criticism for the conservative part of Lithuanian society, not the whole country. Especially when the Lithuanian court already ruled out that Vilnius Municipality's policies towards the parade broke the already existing Lithuanian laws.


      Mary Ann Albee Bigotry in any form is still spelled the same.


      Ricardas Cepas If somebody decided to be Napoleon or Czar they have medical atention. If sobebody decides to be Gay, their rights are protected. Thats not fair towards Napoleons or Czars;)


      Arunas Teiserskis Ricardai, AFAIK, rights of "Napoleons and Czars" in modern society are to be equally protected as well of all other people, no matter what you decide or born to be. You should check your (total lack of) knowledge on legal matters in this field, if you think it is lawful in Lithuania to discriminate against people with mental disorder (not talking about your ethics to mock on this issue in this discussion).


      Mary Ann Albee Being gay is not a mental illness nor does it use brutal and deadly force against those who do not march to their drummer.


      Timotiejus Sevelis AMEN Sista!

      Don't forget, GAYS are environmentally friendly....We don't add new people to the planet!!! LOL

      NOW!! get out of my bedroom and let me have fun with my boyfriend!!!


      Ricardas Cepas Arunas,
      1. My problem is not that you Gay, its your private choice, my problem is, that you promote your private choice to children and people, which did not born Gay and you do it outside of your private life and do that hiding behind core values of human rights. By the way, Nazis use this strategy to come to power back then.

      2. You mentioned "modern societies" it usually comes and goes, in my humble opinion, its more fashion of these years, then shift of core values, for some of us fortunatelly for some unfortunatelly. But I agree fashion always was hot topic. Remember Hipies "free love" movements? Where are they today?
      So choice of promoting Gays by any means in press, demonstrations and etc., looks like natural survival strategy worldwide and has nothing to do with Human rights.

      3. And if you born Gay-be it, dont promote it to children who were not born Gays. Respect their rights similary like I respect your private choice.


      Linas Johansonas Ricardas Cepas Gays are born gay. And every gay was a child. What kind of "promotion" are you afraid of for children? You cannot turn a child or adult gay. Just like you didn't choose to be straight. It happens naturally within us. There is nothing wrong with teaching children that there are gay people in the world. It's a part of life.

      and yes Ricardai, gay rights have to do with human rights.


      Ricardas Cepas Linas Johansonas, Children are addicts to any advertising and they tent to try stuff when its promoted everywhere so hard.


      Arunas Teiserskis Ricardai, I'm not gay, I'm very straight, married and have children. Meanwhile you're obviously dumb. Because you don't realize, that one in no possible means can "advertise" any straight person into being gay. And vice versa. It's not drugs and neither it is fashion. Go and educate yourself a bit, before pretending being smart.


      Linas Johansonas  Ricardas Cepas: no one is promoting gay sex to them. For example, the gay march is about gay rights, not sex. yes, some teenagers do experiment with gay sex just like they experiment with straight sex & you know what, thats how some find out whether they are straight or gay. Teenagers having sex is going to happen without any promotion. It's a fact of life. Thats why you have to have sex education for teens. As for young children, they aren't developed enoiugh to be interested in any sex.


      Wyman Brent I am straight and married and my wife and I will soon have our first child. We do not believe that knowing gay people exists will turn our child gay. He may be born gay but it will have nothing to do with the knowledge that others are gay. That would be like saying all gay people will become straight because they know that most people are straight.



    • How can we make the world aware of Lithuania, its 50 years of nonviolant resistance against the USSR?

      GameChanger: A film about Lithuania's nonviolent resistance
      __________________________


      Ruta Musonis 
      This is great, Aage!!


      David Zincavage 
      My grandfather came to America in 1912 after violently resisting the Russian Occupation.


      Mia Pia 
      My grandparents and parents lost everything, due to the violent wars and occupation by the USSR.


      Ida Hardy 
      We need a feature film like Hunting for Red October - but with more of the details of Lithuania. Or an epic romance featuring the beautiful countryside, following ten generations and what they saw in their lifetime. But whoever writes it please let there be a happy ending?


      Aage Myhre 
      Rima Alessandra, please let Ida Hardy have some idea about your potential 'happy ending'


      Rima Alessandra Gungor,
      GameChanger Director, at the remaining barricade elements that still remain outside the Parliament as visible symbols of Lithuania's nonviolent revolution in 1991.


    • Lithuanian Midsummer

      Midsummer Day is a festival of simple people, connected with the veneration of fire. Young girls adorn their heads with flower wreaths. A tall pole with a wooden wheel soaked in tar or filled with birch bark is hoisted at the top of the highest hill in the vicinity. Men whose names are Jonas (John) set the wheels on fire and make bonfires around it. In some places a second pole is hoisted with flowers and herbs. Young people dance round the fire, sing songs about rye, play games, men try to jump over the fire. The burning wheels on the poles are rolled down the hill into a river or a lake at its foot, men jumping over it all along. On the Midsummer Day people weed the rye and burn all the weeds.

      On Midsummer Day's morning witches acquire special powers, they drag towels over the dewy grass to affect cows' milk. To save their cows from the witches' magic farmers shut them in cowsheds for the Midsummer Night and stick bunches of nettle in the door to scare the witches away. On Midsummer Day cows are driven out to pasture in the early after- noon when there is no more dew on the grass. Horses, however, are left to graze in the open throughout the night, or the witches magic has no effect on them.

      On Midsummer Day dew has special healing powers. Young girls wash their faces in it to make themselves beautiful, older people do the same to make themselves younger. It is good to walk barefoot in dew on Midsummer Day's morning, for it saves the skin from getting chapped.

      Midsummer Day and the time immediately preceding it is believed to have special powers. Medicinal herbs collected from June 1 to the Midsummer Day can cure 12 (some say 99) diseases.

      Read more…
      __________________________


      Ida Hardy
      What are YOU doing for this year's Solstice and Super Moon?
      http://vilnews.com/2011-01-su-joninem


      Boris Bakunas What a wonderful post! Thank you, Ida!


      Sandra Abramovich Love this and am sharing it!


      Ida Hardy Thank Aage Myhre - he's the original! It is a beautiful description isn't it? Are you doing something special?

Click HERE to read previous opinion letters >

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