Oslo mayor brings husband to Vilnius in protest of gay situation
As the Lietuvos Rytas writes the Oslo Mayor Erling Lae brought his spouse Jens T. Olsen to an international mayoral forum in Vilnius during the weekend due to what he said was a complex gay situation in Lithuania BNS informed.
Lae said he had consciously decided to fly to Vilnius with his male partner, the daily newspaper Lietuvos Zinios reported.
The Norwegian capital’s mayor said that he wanted to stress he was married to a man.
In Lae’s words, the situation of Lithuania’s gay community somewhat improved after Vilius Navickas was elected as Vilnius mayor. His predecessor Juozas Imbrasas (has been elected to the European Parliament) was notorious for his conflicts with an organization of homosexuals. Last August, he refused the European Union’s truck “For Diversity, Against Discrimination” entry into Lithuania for the second consecutive year and said that a gay parade in the Lithuanian capital was out of the question.
The Oslo mayor was also critical of Navickas’ recent statement that he would allow a gay parade on the industrial Savanoriu Avenue, however, would not tolerate their demonstration in the city canter writes BNS.
Lae described the gay situation in Lithuania as worse than in other two Baltic states, accusing Vilnius of resisting the EU counter-discrimination directive.
The head of the Vilnius municipality’s Foreign Affairs Division, Zilvinas Abaravicius, said that guests had been invited to attend at the international mayoral forum with their spouses.
“Lae’s arrival with his spouse is not a problem at all. Vilnius is an open and tolerant city,” he said.
“A person is entitled to stating his attitude. It is a personal affair, and I do not intend to criticize it,” the Vilnius mayor said in comment of the critical statements by his Oslo counterpart on the situation of Lithuania’s gay community.
Navickas said that homosexual matters were not discussed during the meeting with the mayor of the Norwegian capital.