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Lithuania will legalise same-sex civil partnerships in 2021, predicts LGBTQ lawmaker

“We’re going to submit the bill in the spring session in March” says Tomas Raskevicius

2020-12-23

Words: Jamie Tabberer; Picture: Instagram/raskevicius2020

Lithuania will legalise same-sex civil partnerships in the near future, according to the country’s only out LGBTQ lawmaker.

However, Tomas Raskevicius – who represents the newly established Freedom Party, and was elected in October after campaigning in drag – says support for full marriage equality is still up to a decade away.

Speaking to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Raskevicius, chairman of the parliament’s human rights committee, predicted civil partnerships by the next election in 2024, and as early as next year.

“I think we should be fine”

“We’re going to submit the bill in the spring session in March,” the 31-year-old said in an interview.

“There are some members of the [majority Homeland Union party] who have already declared they are not going to vote for it, so we’re going to look for some additional votes from the opposition, but I think we should be fine,” Raskevicius said.

 
 
 
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A post shared by Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius (@raskevicius2020)

 

According to the Reuters report, the bill’s introduction within the current parliamentary term was a condition of the opposition Liberal Party for joining the ruling coalition.

Speaking about queer life in the mostly conservative country of 2.8 million, Raskevicius said: “We get into this vicious circle because LGBT people don’t have the chance to come out and then society doesn’t have the chance to meet them in real life, and then they hold certain negative stereotypes about this community.”

Gay sex was legalised in the Baltic state in 1993. A 'Protection of Minors' law bans the subject of homosexuality being discussed with children, in keeping with legislation such as Russia's gay propaganda law. However, Raskevicius is looking to "get that legislation lifted."

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