Renew Europe group expels Lithuanian MEP over homophobic remarks


The European Parliament’s Renew Europe group on Wednesday determined to expel its Lithuanian member, Viktor Uspaskich, over homophobic remarks he made on a video posted on Facebook earlier within the month. 
“There is no place for homophobia in the Renew Europe family,” Dacian Ciolos, the President of Renew Europe stated in an announcement. 
“As a political family, we are deeply committed to safeguarding and expanding the rights of LGBTI+ people. Mr Uspaskich’s comments are incompatible with the values we hold dear and put himself outside of our family,” Ciolos added.
The move adopted an inside disciplinary process, concluded by a vote to expel Uspaskich, throughout which, his termination of membership of Renew Europe group with “immediate effect” was agreed. 
On January 10, the Lithuanian MEP and chief of the Baltic nation’s Labour Party prompted an outcry by Europe’s lawmakers and human rights teams, after he posted a video on Facebook attacking homosexual and transgender individuals, calling them “perverts.” 
“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,” Uspaskich stated.
“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,” he added. 
Following his homophobic feedback, his colleagues at Renew Europe group demanded an evidence and an apology. In a letter despatched to Renew Europe leaders and seen by AFP, Russia-born Uspaskich apologised for inflicting an “uproar”, supporting that he made errors, because the “Lithuanian language” is just not his “mother tongue.”
“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,” he added.