07 Jul

Sergejs Akuličs: Human rights, care, security and protection

Discrimination in Latvia is a word that is often heard in relation to any minority, but it is not just a word for the LGBTI community, but, unfortunately, everyday environment. In Latvia, LGBTI people are protected by law only from discrimination at work, but even prominent violate all ethical and moral principles and violate LGBTI human rights.

June is marked by a pride month in many countries of the world, since on 28 June 1969 the Stonewall riots launched a deliberate fight for equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. One year later, the first LGBT pride happened. Prides, as a form of protest, are held when the system and people suppress the rights of their fellow people, discriminate at work, stigmatize day by day, do not protect them from violence and discrimination. Biased groups of people have been opposed to the equality between LGBTI people – against the right to be protected from violence and discrimination, against the right to obtain similar protection for their families in front of the state.

From 4 June to 9 June 2019, the Baltic pride took place in Vilnius, Lithuania, starting with a conference on human rights, in which I participated as a member in the discussion “LGBTI rights in Times of Populism” addressing the sad situation of LGBTI human rights in Latvia. Discussion was organised by the European Liberal Forum member organisations – “Swedish International Liberal Centre” (SILC), “Projekt Polska” and Latvijas Nākotnes forums.

After it in the discussion with representatives from Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, Sweden, Germany, France and Italy, we have recognised that in all our countries conservative, religious and populist organisations are recruiting hate voices, deceiving people with historical prejudices against LGBTI human rights and intimidating myths. This was also confirmed by the recent vote of Saeima on the passage of the Law of Civil Partnership to commissions, against voted MPs which benefit for years from public hatred for the LBGTI community.

The Law of Civil Partnership – is a civil initiative intended to protect the family of two unmarried adults and is not exclusive to same-sex couples whose families do not currently have civil protection in Latvia. It is a matter of mutual care, security and protection, but some people are probably jealous that the country could finally protect the families of unmarried people in accordance with the requirements of the Satversme. So in the light of hatred, prejudice and self-pride, the majority voted against the law on spouses. It is pleasing that 23 Saeima members have already voted in favour of passing the Law of Civil Partnership to the Commissions.

The key message I included in my speech during the Baltic Broadcasts that we need to continue educating people about the fact that raising LGBTI human rights to the level of rights of heterosexual people does not threaten heterosexual people, but makes our common society safer and happier.