- July 23, 2015
An investigation into the matter of t-shirts has opened
The Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office has opened an investigation into the subject of t-shirts with the statement “Wilno na rowerach bez pedałów” (“Vilnius on bikes without pedals”) printed on them, which the participants of XV Family Tourism Festival by AWPL-ZPL wore for that occasion.
“We have the right to open an investigation on our own initiative, and so we exercised this right after we had seen the said information circulating in the public sphere. The investigation has been opened, which is why I shall abstain from any further comments” – the Ombudsperson on equal opportunities, Agneta Lobačevskytė, said to the BNS agency.
Representatives of the LGBT environment claim that the context in which the word “pedals” was used enforces the assumption that the statement referred to homosexual people. Apart from its basic meaning, in colloquial language, the Polish word “pedał” is a highly offensive name for a homosexual person.
Today, The Lithuanian Gay League condemned the statement printed on the t-shirts of some of the participants of AWP-ZPL’s XV Family Tourism Festival – “Wilno na rowerach bez pedałów” (“Vilnius on bikes without pedals”).
The Mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Šimašius, has also expressed his views on that matter.
The zw.lt website got the access to an unofficial source of information according to which the logo of Vilnius printed on the t-shirts had been used illicitly, without any prior consultations with the authorities of the local government. Currently, the issue is being examined by the local government lawyers.
On Tuesday, the president of ZPL Michał Mackiewicz told our portal that the idea of t-shirts with the text “Wilno na rowerach bez pedałów” (“Vilnius on bikes without pedals”) printed on them was created by the councillors of AWPL. Councillor Edita Tamošiūnaitė confirmed that she was wearing one of those t-shirts during the Festival.
Translated by Anna Plebanek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.