Lithuanian Man Asks For ’Another Hitler’ to ’Exterminate Gays’

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Wednesday February 1, 2012

A Lithuanian man was recently slammed with a $590 fine for making homophobic comments on Facebook. The 37-year-old furniture-maker commented on an article about Lady Gaga criticizing the Lithuanian Government.

"What we need is another Hitler to exterminate those fags 'cause there's just too many of them multiplying," he wrote.

The LGBT rights organization Lithuania Gay League (LGL) reported the man's remarks to authorities and the First District Court of Vilnius City found that he "employed inflammatory rhetoric and encouraged mockery, defiance, discrimination and physical violence against a group of people or its members on the grounds of sexual orientation." According to the country's penal code citizens can be fined for making violent comments against members of the LGBT community.

Vilnius City is the district that includes Vilnius, Lithuania's capital, in the southeastern part of the small Baltic state.

"The complaint filed by LGL was a result of its regular monitoring of the media for hate speech," Vladimir Simonko of the LGL told Pink News. "The good expert practices of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman also contributed to this result. We are optimistic that the court decision will serve as an example to reduce such rhetoric in the future."

The man defended his comment and said, "It was not my intention to call for violence against gays and I feel sorry for what was written - I did not expect that this comment would insult anyone in the public domain."

Although the Lithuanian government has protected its gay citizens from discrimination in areas of employment, education and the access to goods and services, Vilnius City has refused to allow its LGBT members from expressing their rights in public. In 2007, the Vilnius City Council did not allow LGBT people to hold a public meeting and the city's gay pride parade was cancelled. In 2010, however, the city held its first gay pride parade, EDGE reported.

Lithuania also passed a law, similar to a law passed in a few regions in Russia, that prohibits "propaganda of homosexual, bisexual or polygamous relations."

The country has not recognized same-sex marriages nor civil unions and gay couples are not allowed to adopt children. Gays and lesbians, however, can serve openly in the military.