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Lithuania parliament approves child censorship bill

[JURIST] The Lithuanian parliament [official website] on Tuesday approved a bill that would prohibit children from being exposed to information on a number of topics, including homosexuality. The parliament overrode the veto of former president Valdas Adamkus, who had rejected an earlier vote by the parliament [Baltic Times] to pass the bill. Under Lithuanian law, current president Dalia Grybauskaite cannot veto the bill again [BBC report], and must sign it within three days. Grybauskaite has said she will reluctantly sign the bill [DELFI report, in Lithuanian]. News of the bill's passage brought swift comment from rights groups across Europe [LGL release]. Amnesty International UK [advocacy website] warned that the bill [release] could, "institutionalise homophobia" and "further the stigmatisation of and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people." [sic]

Worldwide, gay rights and the legal status of same-sex relationships are constantly evolving. In April, an appeals court in Senegal, where homosexual acts are a crime, overturned the sodomy conviction [JURIST report] of nine aid workers. In November 2008, the parliament of Burundi criminalized homosexuality, and the Supreme Court of Nepal approved same-sex marriages [JURIST reports]. In October, the Portuguese parliament voted overwhelmingly [JURIST report] against proposals to legalize same-sex marriage.

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