Laws

LITHUANIA

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum / Refugees
Censorship
  Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Discrimination
Estates, Wills
Fostering Children
Free Speech
Gender Identity
Harassment
  Hate Crimes
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Immigration
Inheritance, Succession
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Military
  Parenting
Partners
Property
Right of Assembly
Sodomy
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

The age of consent in Lithuania is 14 years [R1.1].

R1.1 Wikipedia: Ages of consent in Europe AUG 08
Asylum, Immigration, Migration, Refugees Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 28 January 2016, it was reported that the Migration Department refused to issue a temporary residence permit to a Belarusian man who married his Lithuanian husband in the Netherlands. The men have the option to appeal the decision within 14 days at a regional court. Foreign nationals can apply for residence permits on the basis of family reunification in Lithuania [R1.1].

R1.1 PinkNews: Lithuania refuses to recognise same-sex marriage for residence permit 28 JAN 15
Censorship, Freedom of Expression, Free Speech, Right of Assembly Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [DISCRIMINATION]
1.

National

On 24 November 2013, the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) voted to proceed with a consideration of an amendment to the country's Code of Administrative Offences - submitted by Petras Gražulis in May - that would limit freedom of association, assembly and expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people if it becomes law [R1.14].

In July 2011, a bill before the parliament reportedly would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, saying “advertising and audiovisual commercial communications must not publish information that humiliates human dignity, discriminating or encouraging discrimination based on …sexual orientation” [R1.13].


In December 2010, the Parliament was considering amendments to the Administrative Code stating that "public promotion of homosexual relations … be punished by a fine from 2,000 to 10,000 litas [£480 to £2,400] [R1.12].

Amnesty International feared the amended law, if passed, would punish almost any public expression or portrayal of, or information about, homosexuality including but not limited to, campaigning on human rights issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, providing sexual health information to LGBT people or organising gay film festivals and organising and/or attending Pride events.


In October 2010, the Provision of Information Act came into effect. Article 39 provides:-

"Advertising and audiovisual commercial communication must be decent, fair, and identifiable. Advertising and audiovisual commercial communication must not prejudice respect for human dignity, discrimination on grounds of race, sex or ethnic origin, nationality, citizenship, religion or faith, disability, and age, also must not contain manifestation or promotion of sexual orientation [emphasis added], be offensive to religious or political beliefs, encourage behaviour prejudicial to health and safety, also behaviour largely detrimental to environmental protection" [R1.11].


On 22 December 2009, the Seimas (Parliament), voted 58–4 to remove antigay language in the controversial Law on Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information that restricted information available to children. The law was revised to ban information "encouraging the sexual abuse of minors, sexual relations between minors, and other sexual relations". The amended law apparently still bars the promotion of "any concept of the family other than that set down in the constitution," which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman [L1.10], [R1.9].

The law comes into effect in March 2010 [R1.8].

Amnesty International argues that "other sexual relations" means that campaigning for gay marriage or civil partnerships will be illegal [R1.8].


On 17 November 2010, Parliament narrowly rejected a bill that would have banned public promotion of homosexual relations on the first reading. The second reading was expected in December [R1.7].

Previously:

On 12 November 2010, parliament decided to push ahead with legislation imposing fines from 2,000 to 10,000 litas (€580–2,900, $792–3,955) for the "public promotion of homosexual relations" [R1.6].


In December 2009, the Human Rights Watch called on Lithuanian lawmakers to remove antigay language as they review the Law on Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information restricting information available to children [R1.5].

On 21 July 2009, overriding a veto by former president Valdas Adamkus, the Lithuanian parliament approved the Law on Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information to keep information about homosexuality away from children. It was expected the law will come into force on march 1st. [R1.4].

In late June 2009, President Adamkus vetoed the Law on Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information. The parliament has the option of over-riding the Presidential veto [R1.3].

In June 2009, parliament approved the 'Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information' banning information on homosexuality in schools or in media accessible by young people. The bill had not yet been given presidential approval [R1.2].

In December 2008, the Lithuanian parliament accepted amendments to the law on the protection of minors, giving rise to concerns that the law will lead to a ban on gay activities [R1.1] and censorship.

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 23 July 2013, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court gave final approval, which cannot be appealed, ordering that the City of Vilnius make the final arrangements for the pride march on 25 July [R2.2].

On 05 July 2013, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court overturned the City of Vilnius's refusal to issue a permit for the LGBT pride parade, ruling that Baltic Pride 2013 can go ahead at the end of the month (27 July) in the capital Vilnius [R2.1].

R1.14 ILGA-Europe: Europe must react to escalation of human rights violations in Lithuania 02 DEC 13
R1.13 PinkPaper: Lithuania reverses course on gay information ban 18 JUL 11
R1.12 PinkNews: Lithuania to vote on fining people who 'promote' homosexuality 08 DEC 10
R1.11 UK Gay News: Freedom of Expression Restricted: Sexual Orientation in Advertising Now Prohibited 29 OCT 10
L1.10 Law: the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information PDF 48.79kb, 22 DEC 09
R1.9 The Advocate: Antigay Lithuanian Law Amended 23 DEC 09
R1.8 PinkNews.co.uk: Homophobic Lithuanian law comes into power next week 26 FEB 10
R1.7 PinkPaper: Lithuanian no-promo-homo bill fails in first vote 22 NOV 10
R1.6 EUbusiness: Lithuanian parliament mulls anti-gay law 12 NOV 10
R1.5 The Advocate: Rights Group Objects to Antigay Lithuanian Law 09 DEC 09
R1.4 The Advocate: Lithuania OK's Homophobic Bill 15 JUL 09
R1.3 PinkNews.co.uk: Lithuanian President blocks homophobic law 26 JUN 09
R1.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Lithuania passes Section 28-style law to ban mention of homosexuality in schools or media 17 JUN 09
R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Lithuanian MPs Vote to "Protect" Minors from Homosexuality 15 DEC 08
R2.2 GayStarNews: Lithuania court gives final approval to Baltic Pride March 23 JUL 13
R2.1 GayStarNews: Lithuanian court rules Pride can go ahead 05 JUL 113
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MARRIAGE]
1.

National

There is no recognised form of civil union or registered partners.

On 06 May, the Committee on Legal Affairs of Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) found that the introduction of a same-sex civil partnerships bill would not breach the country's constitution [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 28 September 2011, the Constitutional Court ruled the "Family Policy Concept was contrary to the constitution and must be overturned –

"The constitutional conception of family cannot be arisen from the institution of marriage only. … The constitutional conception of family is based on family members' mutual responsibility, emotional attachment, support and voluntary self-determination to assume certain rights and duties, i.e. content of the relationships; however, the manifestation forms of the relationships are not essentially important to the constitutional conception of family … " [R2.1].

R1.1 GayStarNews: Lithuanian parliament committee: 'constitution no barrier to gay civil partnerships' 11 MAY 15
R2.1 The Baltic Times: Challenged definition of family has sent tremors throughout the conservative landscape 12 OCT 11

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Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In July 2011, a bill before the parliament reportedly would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, saying “advertising and audiovisual commercial communications must not publish information that humiliates human dignity, discriminating or encouraging discrimination based on …sexual orientation” [R1.2].


In June 2008, a new equality law to include sexual orientation, age, disability and religion as grounds of prohibited discrimination stalled in the Parliament because not enough MPs turned up to vote [R1.1].


In 2004, a law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment was passed as an obligation for acceptance into the European Union [R1.1].

R1.2 PinkPaper: Lithuania reverses course on gay information ban 18 JUL 11
R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Equal Treatment Bill Stalls in Lithuanian Parliament 11 JUN 08
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 21 November 2012, Antanas Matulas, the Deputy Chairman of Committee on Health Affairs, has resubmitted a draft amendment to the Civil Code, prohibiting gender reassignment surgeries. At present, the Civil Code provides that an unmarried adult is entitled to undergo gender reassignment surgery if it is possible medically [L1.4], [R1.3].

On 19 July 2012, the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice reportedly had proposed new draft legislation where people who have undergone gender reassignment surgery are to be issued with new identity cards without a lengthy court procedure but at the same time legislators want to remove existing provisions for state sponsored gender reassignment [R1.2].

At present, the civil code provides that any unmarried person of full age is entitled to medical gender reassignment if medically feasible, but a law enforcing this, as suggested by the ECtHR, is missing [R1.2].

On 02 March 2012, the Lithanian Gay League alleged that the government had ignored the 2007 ruling in L v. Lithuania obligating Lithuania to pass a law regulating the procedure and conditions of gender reassignment [C2.2], [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 11 September 2007, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Lithuania must implement new legislation on gender reassignment or pay damages and that the Court would not re-examine the case of a Lithuanian transsexual who won an order that blocking gender reassignment treatment was a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private life) of the European Convention on Human Rights [C2.2], [R2.1].

L1.4 Bill: Article 2.27 Replacement XIIP-17 (in Lithuanian) Word 21 NOV 12
R1.3 TRACE: A Bill, Prohibiting Gender Reassignment, Proposed to the Agenda of the New Parliament 29 NOV 12
R1.2 GayStarNews: Lithuania proposes anti-trans law 19 JUL 12
R1.1 ILGA-Europe: Lithuania ignores UN Human Rights Council recommendations on LGBT rights 02 MAR 12
C2.2 ECtHR: Case of L. v. Lithuania, no. 27527/03 (Sect. 2), ECHR 2007-IV, 11 SEP 07
R2.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Euro Court Will Not Re-open Trans Case 09 APR 08
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In 1993, consensual sex between same-sex couples was decriminalised [R1.2], [R1.1].

R1.2 Captial Q: Repeal of Gay Sex Laws 05 NOV 97
Melbourne Star Observer: Belarus Legalised Gay Sex in 1991 23 AUG 96
R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

The Constitution defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman [R1.3].

Previously:

In 2005, a proposal to ban same-sex marriage in Lithuania was said to be unnecessary because such marriages are already unlawful. If passed, the measure would make Lithuania the second European Union state after Latvia to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage [R1.2].

In 2001, the Lithuanian Gaysí League called upon the government to legalize same-sex marriages [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 28 September 2011, the Constitutional Court ruled the "Family Policy Concept was contrary to the constitution and must be overturned –

"The constitutional conception of family cannot be arisen from the institution of marriage only. The institution of family and marriage are intertwined inseparably and unarguably; however, it is only one of the possible forms of family. The constitutional conception of family is based on family members' mutual responsibility, emotional attachment, support and voluntary self-determination to assume certain rights and duties, i.e. content of the relationships; however, the manifestation forms of the relationships are not essentially important to the constitutional conception of family. Therefore, having defined family as a man's and woman's wedlock together with their children or foster-children, Seimas has narrowed the perception of family in terms of the content of the constitutional institute, and has not followed the Constitution, which allows family creation not necessarily on the foundation of wedlock" [R2.1].

R1.3 The Advocate: Antigay Lithuanian Law Amended 23 DEC 09
R1.2 The Advocate: Proposal to Ban Same-sex Marriage Draws Criticism in Lithuania 29 DEC 05
R1.1 The Advocate: Lithuanian Gays Seek Marriage Rights 23 FEB 01
R2.1 The Baltic Times: Challenged definition of family has sent tremors throughout the conservative landscape 12 OCT 11
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In 2007, it was reported that with the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effects of Public Information Bill to be introduced to the Lithuanian parliament later in that year, same-sex parents may be banned by law from "promoting" their sexuality to their children [R1.1].

The Bill was subsequently amended and passed on 22 December 2009 and came into effect in March 2010.

R1.1 bnews: Gay Parents Driven Back into Closet 09 AUG 07

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