When it comes to LGBT+ rights, Lithuania is late to the party. Conservative attitudes prevail, particularly among the older generation. Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993 and the first gay pride parade was only held in 2010 (it was met with violent protests). Progress towards same-sex marriage continues at a glacial pace.
EU membership, and the increasing number of 'boomerang' workers – who spend periods of time working elsewhere in the EU before returning to Lithuania – is slowly increasing local exposure to gay-friendly cultures.
- Vilnius has a handful of LGBT+-specific venues, and many more gay-friendly ones. The National LGBT Rights Organization (www.lgl.lt) has a map of gay venues on their website.
- Friendly City (www.friendlycity.info) has a search engine for Vilnius businesses that welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans travellers.
- Kaunas and Klaipėda have much smaller, more discreet scenes than Vilnius. LGBT+ communities in rural Lithuania will seem almost invisible to visitors.
- Public hand-holding is unlikely to attract negative attention in Vilnius but it's a different story in the rest of the country.