Lithuanian member of parliament, Viktor Uspaskich, has been encouraged to apologise for his homophobic comments or face being expelled from the country’s centre-left Labour party. In a Facebook live video, Uspaskich said: “Today, in some European countries, it is dangerous to say that you are a representative of natural orientation, it has already become dangerous…Most of these people do not advertise, but those who put their d**k under a skirt and go into the street and shout, they are perverts, and such things must not be tolerated.” He also used anti-LGBTQ+ slurs.
Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius, the country’s only out queer lawmaker who represents the pro-LGBTQ+ Freedom Party in Lithuania’s parliament, spoke out against Uspaskich’s comments, calling them “disgusting”. He said: “I have only one question: is it all right when a member of the European Parliament publicly spreads homophobic hate speech?”
According to Euractiv, former Romanian prime minister Dacian Cioloș, who leads the Lithuanian Labour party, has warned Uspaskich he could face removal from the group if he does not retract his remarks and apologise. Cioloș said: “I must insist that you take back these despicable homophobic remarks and apologise to both the public and to your colleagues in Renew Europe for the hurt you have inflicted. I expect this from you no later than Thursday 14 January at noon.” He said it would then be up to MEPs to decide whether the “explanation and apology is sufficient to allow you to remain in our group.”