The European Parliament building, in Strasbourg.

Lithuania should reconsider recent changes in its child protection legislation to avoid any possibility of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, according to the European Parliament.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted 349-218 on Wednesday to condemn the recently-passed Lithuanian law, the Protection of Minors from the Detrimental Effects of Public Information, which limits children from accessing information about homosexuality.

The law is due to come into effect in March next year.

MEPs said that the wording of the law is “vague and legally unclear and might lead to controversial interpretations.” They added that it is unclear what kind of materials are concerned and whether it extends to books, art, press, publicity, music, theatre, exhibitions or demonstrations.

While acknowledging the need for “appropriate legal protection” of children, the Parliament stressed the importance of fighting discrimination “in particular […] based on sexual orientations.”

The Parliament welcomed more recent steps to review the changes and asked Lithuania to ensure that its laws are compatible with international and European human and civil rights legislation.

Lithuania’s President, Dalia Grybauskaite, has previously criticised the homophobic law which labels homosexual topics as material deemed harmful to the mental health and “intellectual or moral development” of minors.

Grybauskaite was inaugurated as president in July, after the legislation was passed by Lithuania’s Parliament which meant that she was forced to sign it despite her objections.

She said that she intended to amend the law, adding that the “human rights of all of society” would be important during her tenure as president.

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