PRESS RELEASE OCTOBER 13, 2014
Vilnius -- A historic international meeting of Belarus, Lithuanian, Swedish and Canadian LGBT and pro-LGBT journalists, editors, translators and human rights defenders met in the Lithuanian capital on October 11, 2014 to discuss the present situation in Belarus -- and ways to exchange international experience and increase the collaboration of LGBT activists/human rights groups/mass media in other countries to help ensure LGBT people's equal rights with other social groups.
"We are very eager to increase contacts with other countries including our neighbor, Belarus," said Marius Gorochovskis, communications officer of the Lithuanian Gay League, at the conference which took place at the Human Rights House in the heart of the Lithuanian capital.
"It was great meeting colleagues from Belarus and there is a strong motivation for working together internationally," said Robert Milkovic, writer/editor and LGBTQ activist in Toronto Canada.
"The LGBT Belarus journalist is a powerful tool for educating fellow colleagues and the society on the whole -- since homophobia is a devastating and crippling illness even in Sweden today despite the almost perfect anti-discrimination legislation there," said Bill Schiller of Tupilak, the Nordic organization of rainbow cultural workers and the ILGCN, the international rainbow cultural network.
In addition, a separate discussion was dedicated to the problem of non-ethical comments under LGBT-related publications on mass media Web-sites in Belarus -- with contributions of the Belarusian LGBT Journalists' Group as facilitator, 'GayBelarus', 'GayAlliance', MakeOut, 34Mag, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and Gender Route, a feminist NGO.
In post-conference discussions including Lithuanian LGBT cultural workers, plans were made to hold a Belarus, Lithuanian, Swedish and Canadian rainbow conference and cultural gathering in southern Lithuania in 2015.