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Pro-family protest in VilniusGabriel Khiterer

VILNIUS, Lithuania, May 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In order to protest anti-family legislation, tens of thousands took to the streets of Lithuania to defend traditional family values on May 15.

While Lithuania is a traditionally Catholic country, the current parliament has been pushing the LGBT agenda. Recently, the parliament drafted legislation allowing civil unions for same-sex couples.

According to a 2019 Eurobarometer survey, 70 percent of Lithuanians oppose the legal recognition of same-sex unions. In response to the draft legislation, Lithuanian citizens organized “The Great Family Defense March,” the first largescale protest in many years.

On the morning of May 15, thousands of citizens traveled to the capital city, Vilnius. The car line-up of people driving from country homes to the city was several miles long. They gathered in Vingis Park, many carrying the Lithuanian flag and coat of arms.

A Lithuanian source told LifeSite that the march aimed to stop the legislation process of the Istanbul Convention, “which is advertised as a means of protecting women from violence when in reality it validates the concept of gender [ideology].” They also hoped to stop parliament from legalizing same-sex “marriage.”

“We hope that this march will not be forgotten and that its goals will continue to motivate people to take action,” the source continued. “This could be a great chance for smaller existing conservative parties to grow their influence and fight for the truth.”

The Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda spoke to the protesters via video recording.

He promised to do his best to uphold traditional marriage between one man and one woman. “Marriage is constituted by the free consent of a man and a woman,” he stated. “As president, I will use my powers for this to be realized.”

At the march, protesters were blessed by the chaplain of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

Father Robertas Grigas, who was part of an anti-Soviet resistance group before the fall of the Iron Curtain, told the people, “We are waiting for and demanding that our elected government would represent not the interests of small exotic groups, but the problems that are important to the whole nation.”

The main organizer of the event, Raimondas Grinevičius, asked, “[What] has Lithuania come to that on The International Day of Families, when we should be celebrating, dancing and singing, we must all come here to defend our families from a total, without using strong language, misunderstanding?”