Lithuania's new law against information

On July 14, 2009, the Seimas (the Lithuanian parliament) voted to pass a law that bans information on homosexuality, bad hygiene, gambling and hypnosis (among other things) in schools or in media accessible by young people. The law, titled 'Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information', includes "the propaganda of homosexuality [or] bisexuality" as a detrimental factor on young people.
In June, the then-President Valdas Adamkus vetoed the law, but the 141-member Seimas has the power to override him and did so with a vote of 87-6. It is expected the law will come into force on March 1st, 2010.
On July 12, the country's new President, the former European Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaitė, came into office. She has voiced her opposition to this law, but is powerless to do anything about it. Many Human Rights organisations - e.g. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch - have expressed their concern about the significant narrowing of the rights to free speech and to information, that this law entails. The blogger Aqurette comments:
The irony is that Lithuania fought long and hard for its independence from the Soviet Union. Freedom of speech was at the top of the agenda. And now, after eighteen years of post-communist democracy, it introduces a law that bans free speech. Joseph Stalin would be so proud.
And we certainly wouldn't want to disappoint him, now, would we?
What really worries me, however, is the attempt (within the EU) to legislate moral issues. That has never worked and it will never work. If something is sinful, a sinner will try it. Making sin illegal can't cure the incurable. And since we all are sinners, it is obvious to me that we try to legislate away not our own sin, but our neighbour's. This is not how lawmaking should work.
While laws reflect the morals of the legislators, the laws themselves should be concerned with actions that hurt others in some way, not with trying to enforce moral behaviour on those that haven't the same values or basis for their morals as the legislators have. If morals are to be influenced or changed, you should use information, not legislation.
Lithuania's parliament passes 'Section 28-style' law to ban homosexuality in schools (PinkNews 14.9.09)
Litauisk lag mot homosex och hypnos (Svenska Dagbladet 14.7.09)
Homoseksualumas yra meilė! ( 14.7.09)
Ny morallag i Litauen får kraftig kritik (Kyrkans Tidning 15.9.09)
Litauen antar lag mot homosex (Dagen 15.7.09)
Mycket att göra i EU: korkad litauisk lag antagen (Karin Långström Vinges blogg 15.7.09)
Dumstrut över Litauen (Antigayretorik 15.7.09)
Homoseksualumas yra meilę (Aqurette 15.7.09)

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