Thousands of Lithuanians March in Defense of Traditional Values After Parliament Drafts Same-Sex Civil Union Legislation

Last Saturday thousands of people took to the streets of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, to stand up for traditional values and protest proposed civil union legislation for gay couples.

The protest, called “The Great Family Defense March,” took place at Vingis Park on May 15. LifeSiteNews learned from a Lithuanian source that the aim of the protest was to speak out against the Istanbul Convention, “which is advertised as a means of protecting women from violence when in reality it validates the concept of gender [ideology].” But the protest also allowed people opposed to the LGBT agenda to express their displeasure at recent developments in parliament.

The Lithuanian parliament—known as the Seimas—will soon consider a bill that would legalize same-sex civil unions. The proposed legislation is spearheaded by openly gay MP Tomas Vytautas Raskevicius. If passed, the bill would give gay couples inheritance rights, joint ownership of property, and the ability to change last names, but it would not grant them the right to adopt children.

The chaplain of the Lithuanian Armed Forces blessed the crowd of protesters and Lithuanian President Gitanas NausÄ—da addressed them in a video recorded message.

“Marriage is constituted by the free consent of a man and a woman,” he said. “As president, I will use my powers for this to be realized.”

Lithuania is a strongly Catholic country. Approximately four out of every five Lithuanians belong to the Catholic Church, and according to a 2019 Eurobarometer survey, 70 percent of Lithuanians are opposed to the legal recognition of same-sex unions.

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