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Gintarine SirdisAccording to Lithuanian reports, the Lithuanian Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics has ruled that a book of fairy stories Gintarinė širdis (“Amber heart”) by local author Neringa Dangvydė, which includes same-sex relationships and other LGBT-friendly themes contains “harmful, primitive and purposeful propaganda of homosexuality,” as well as “encouraging the concept of entry into a marriage and creation of a family other than stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania,” and being “harmful, invasive, direct and manipulative.” The Office therefore declared that the book should be marked under the local index N-14, as unsuitable for those below 14 years old. A Lithuanian parents’ group and conservative politicians were apparently behind the original campaign against the book. Further details, in the original Lithuanian, are here.

The original Lithuanian report, also carried by Lithuania’s  National LGBT Rights Organization, states that the book, which “contains magical stories for children about people with disabilities, same-sex couples, Roma, people with a different skin colour and other socially vulnerable groups is no longer available for purchase and the information about it was removed from a database of the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences (LEU), which published the book nearly half a year ago.” The Lithuanian commentary also indicates that the Office’s ruling regarding the Lithuanian Constitution may be false, as this does not define a family in exclusively traditional terms, and raises the possibility of an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Also, at least some of the original work seems to be available online as a PDF here.

With Lithuania in serious need of Western support against resurgent Russian territorial and ethnic ambitions, this seems a really smart message for the nation of 3 million to send to the international community. Hopefully, more tolerant voices within Lithuania will prevails.

 
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