At today’s parliamentary hearing on the sexual abuse of children, organised in the European Parliament by the European People’s Party (EPP), an individual right-wing MEP expressed the view that paedophilia was connected to homosexuality.
Vytautas Landsbergis, EPP Member of the European Parliament for Lithuania and a former Head of the Lithuanian Parliament, said there was a connection between homosexuality and paedophilia. Children should therefore be protected from “homosexual propaganda” and “homophilic [sic] paedophilia”, he added. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, responded that such claims were unfounded, and that the European Commission condemns discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Anna Záborská, EPP Member of the European Parliament for Slovakia, made a further remark on “adult men abusing young boys”.
Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-president of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights, further added: “Our colleague is obviously not aware that top politicians in his European party such as Jerzy Buzek, Herman van Rompuy and Viviane Reding clearly condemned homophobia earlier this year. We are not afraid of the hateful rhetoric by the likes of Landsbergis; but they should be afraid of growing out of touch with reality!”
Michael Cashman MEP, Co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, reacted: “What century do some elected parliamentarians live in? Where are the studies conclusively linking homosexuality to paedophilia? These outrageous claims are blatantly false, and do nothing but stir up hatred! Landsbergis should come out of the closet… and declare himself as Vatican spokesperson!”
Similar comments had been made earlier this year by Tarcisio Bertone, Cardinal Secretary of State to the Vatican, who argued that “there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia”.
The Intergroup on LGBT Rights unreservedly condemns paedophilia. All recognised LGBT organisations worldwide have made similar statements at the highest levels, including at the United Nations.
Updated on 1 July 2010 at 18:30 CET
Updated (2) on 15 July 2010 at 10:30 CET Anna Záborská MEP clarified that her remark was not linked to Mr Landsbergis’. Her exact words were: “It is our task as politicians to send a clear signal that the society doesn’t tolerate sexual abuse of children—even if it hides behind nice catchphrases about ‘love’ between a man and a boy, or freedom of speech.” The Intergroup apologises for misquoting the Honourable Member.Posted in: Press releases, Recent news