Watch: Fearing Reprisals, Lithuanian Pol Sort-of Apologizes for Homophobic Rant

Thursday January 14, 2021

Viktor Uspaskich seen in his Facebook video
Viktor Uspaskich seen in his Facebook video  (Source:Twitter)

Earlier this week, Lithuanian Viktor Uspaskich, a member of the European parliament, made an openly LGBTQ-phobic Facebook video in which he criticizes "deviants" who "stick their dicks under skirts." He subsequently made half-hearted apology.

Uspaskich, a member of the European parliament, "has made an openly LGBT-phobic Facebook video in which he criticizes 'deviants' who 'stick their dicks under skirts', who 'go to the streets to scream and protest'," reports the French LGBTQ website TÊTU. "These things should not be tolerated," he says in the video. reported on Uspaskich's comments in a translation of the video that reads in part: "I speak exactly about perverts, the deviants — fate, life has given them such a life, it's not their fault that in male clothes they feel like women, the majority of people do not go and advertise themselves. Those who put their dick under a skirt and go into the street and shout, they are perverts, and such things must not be tolerated."

Uspaskich is member of the liberal Renew Europe group within the EU parliament. "This social-liberal MEP is the founder of the labor party 'Darbo partija'," writes TÊTU. "In the European Parliament, Viktor Uspakich is a member of the parliamentary cooperation between the Union and Kazakhstan. Previously, he was Minister of the Economy and he is decorated with the Order of St. Vladimir, one of the most prestigious distinctions in Russia."

On Monday evening, reports, Renew Europe leader Dacian Ciolo condemned the video as "hateful and clearly homophobic" and presented the politician with an ultimatum.

"The content of the video you posted is totally unacceptable for us as a Group and me personally as Group leader," Ciolo wrote in the email, seen by Politico. "I will give you the opportunity to explain your behaviour in relation to this, but I must insist that you take back these despicable homophobic remarks and apologize to both the public and to your colleagues in Renew Europe for the hurt you have inflicted."

"The abhorrent comments made by one of our Lithuanian MEPs are unacceptable & incompatible with our values," Ciolo said in a statement to Politico. "The necessary expulsion procedures have been initiated. Such a statement puts its author outside our political family."

Uspaskich complied on Wednesday with an apology, writes the website with AFP. "I apologise ... sincerely, that my words, though perhaps too rude or used not carefully enough, but taken out of context, caused misunderstanding, grief and uproar," Uspaskich said in a letter seen by AFP. Adding he supported "full tolerance and respect of all people, despite their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation".

But he continued his homophobic slant, even in his apology: "I specifically pointed out that I am not referring to people who are naturally given a different orientation by nature, and I speak of those who scream loudly and lead a perverted way of life." And even claimed he was discriminated in Lithuania because of his Russian origins.

LGBTQ activists were not impressed. "There is no place for homophobia in politics. I am disappointed that Mr. Uspaskich has failed to take political responsibility and to apologise for humiliating and hurting LGBT+ people and their allies," Tomas Vytautas Raskevicius, Lithuania's only openly LGBT+ lawmaker, told AFP.

The subtitled English translation of his Facebook video read as follows: "It is completely okay to legalize same sex families, let them adopt children. Apparently, it is normal. In most European countries you can't even say that your sexual orientation is normal. You see, I don't want that my conversations, (Facebook live) shows to be commented by fags. Because it is not for them. I am talking about fags, perverts It is not their fault that they were given this life. That they feel like women wearing men's clothes Most of them keep to themselves. But those who stick their dick under a skirt, who walk on the street and shout are faggots and perverts. They should not be tolerated."

Comments on Facebook