News2020.05.18 15:00

LGBT rights survey shows little progress in Lithuania 2020.05.18 15:00

Eleventh ILGA-Europe Rainbow Map, an annual survey of LGBT+ rights in European countries, shows little progress in Lithuania over the last year.

The survey by ILGA-Europe, an international non-governmental umbrella group of over 600 organisations in Europe and Central Asia, warns that even once-leading countries in Europe are falling behind in their commitments to equality for LGBT+ people.

Read more: European LGBT equality survey shows east-west divide

The report, released last week, scores the countries on a number of criteria, including non-discrimination, family policies and legal gender recognition.

In the 2020 Rainbow Map, Lithuania‘s LGBT+ human rights index of 23 percent remains unchanged from 2019 and is among the lowest in the European Union.

Read more: Russia’s LGBT+ community finds safe space in the Baltics

The breakdown of Lithuania's score can be found here.

Lithuania is ahead only of Poland, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria and has the same score as Italy.

“2019 has brought some encouraging developments for the Lithuanian LGBTI community: the Constitutional Court expanded its doctrine on discrimination by mentioning not only sexual orientation, but also gender identity as a protected ground. It also implied that family relations are not necessarily derived from the union between a man and a woman,” Vladimir Simonko, the head of the LGBT+ organisation LGL, said in a statement.

However, he added, Lithuania is witnessing “stagnation of LGBTI human rights”.

“LGBTI families continue to live in a legal void, transgender individuals have limited access to health services, there is no option of legal gender recognition through administrative measures while continuous neglect of LGBTI questions in educational policy makes a considerable portion of our society resort to stereotypical rhetoric rather than science-based knowledge,” Simonko said.

Malta ranks at the top of the index, with a score of 89 percent, followed by Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark and Norway.

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