Introduction Here is one of those former Soviet bloc countries where modern “Gay Life in Lithuania” is in conflict with old traditions as the country emerges from the repressive mentality that stigmatized and criminalized homosexuality. Two forces are clashing head on in Lithuania: progressive and tolerant human rights standards of European Union membership and
Same sex activity, which was illegal in the Soviet Union, was legalized in Lithuania in 1993. The age of consent was equalized in 2004 (at 14 years of age). According to the Law on Equal Treatment 2005, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is banned in the areas of employment, education and access to goods and services. Homosexuals are not banned from serving in the military. There is only a small gay scene in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda. Elsewhere in Lithuania, however, the sparse population means there is no gay scene. A European Union member poll showed Lithuania at 17% support for gay marriage. Most people in Lithuania strongly disapprove of homosexual relationships.
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