If ever proof were needed that EU national governments may no longer legislate in accordance with their own cultural traditions, or enact laws which uphold the Christian understanding of the family, it is now evident.
Astonishingly (or perhaps not), the European Parliament has considered ‘Article 7’ action against Lithuania, which could have resulted in Lithuania’s suspension from the European Union. And all because they have dared to confront what they deem to be insidious homosexual propaganda.
Lithuania is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, and has effectively passed its own Section 28: ‘A Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information’ which prohibits promotion of ‘homosexual, bisexual, polygamous relations’ among children under the age of 18. The law does not ban the discussion of such issues; it prohibits their promotion. This is not ‘anti-gay’ or ‘homophobic’; it is for the protection of children. But Gay and human rights groups have condemned the law, claiming it institutionalises homophobia, is discriminatory, and violates the right to freedom of expression. The ubiquitous Michael Cashman, who spends every waking hour of his working life on the promotion of homosexuality, all at the expense of the EU taxpayer, said: “It is my duty as an elected member of the European Parliament to act strongly against grave attempts to diminish human rights of EU citizens. This new law is a spit in the face of the European values. To limit freedom of expression based on homophobia is a clear breach of EU’s fundamental rights and principles.”
No mention, of course, of the diminishing rights of EU Christians, or the buckets of saliva being thrown into their faces, or the limitations being placed on their freedom of expression.
While the Lithuanian president vetoed the measure last June, the Lithuanian parliament exercised its democratic right and overturned his veto. The law is due to take effect next March.
And so the European Parliament voted 349-218 to condemn the new law because they say it contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights. They insist that the law should therefore be repealed: it is inconsistent with EU membership.
And yet we are told that the education of children and parental rights are not a competence of the European Union. And the Irish were duped into believing that the Lisbon Treaty (into which the Charter of Fundamental Rights is now incorporated) does not impinge upon national sovereignty in these areas.
The Lithuanian parliament has expressed ‘regret’ and ‘deep concern’ that the European Parliament attempted to ‘doubt the lawfulness of the law passed by the great majority of the democratically elected parliament of a member state, although this issue should not fall under the jurisdiction of the EP’.
Yet the Lithuanian parliament can ‘regret’ and express ‘deep concern’ until the cows come home. When the European Court of Human Rights speaks, its pronouncements are ex cathedra, perfect wisdom, infallible. The will of ‘the democratically elected parliament of a member state’ is of no consequence.
Interestingly, Lithuanian Labour Party member Mecislovas Zasciurinskas asked if this is a one-off attempt to interfere with the affairs of a sovereign state or the beginnings of an absolute dictatorship. He said: “Some years back we called this ‘Moscow’s Grip,’ the tendency to meddle in everybody’s business…”
Is ‘Article 7’ the fate which awaits David Cameron’s quest to ‘repatriate’ certain competences under subsidiarity provisions? Are threats of expulsion the consequence of transgressing the divine right of the European Union?
The faithful communicant who brought this story to His Grace’s attention has attempted to get a transcript of the debate in the European Parliament. This was eventually provided, but he says that in order to understand what was going on, he would have needed to have been proficient in every European language that was used in the debate. Apparently the EP rapporteurs do not see fit to provide translations of the whole proceedings in a single language. No doubt to do so would provide too much transparency.