Since 1993, Association LGL has been the only non-governmental organization in Lithuania exclusively dedicated to representing the interests of the LGBTQIA+ community. LGL maintains its independence from political and financial interests while seeking to achieve consistent progress on LGBTQIA+ rights. The LGL team consists of 5 Board Members, 5 staff, and over 20 volunteers who focus on advancing LGBTQIA+ rights across communities in Lithuania. To raise funds, LGL employs grassroots donation techniques and crowdfunding, as well as engages socially responsible businesses. As part of their effort to promote inclusion, LGL partners with local companies and branches of international corporations, which sponsor events organized by LGL. In 2016, LGL launched a crowdfunding campaign for its Baltic Pride festival in order to promote fundraising culture among community members and to make the organization of the future Prides more sustainable and less dependent on external funding. In 2019, 9% of their income came from socially responsible businesses and 10% from individual donations.
Theory of Change
Education, support, advocacy, and representation of the LGBTQIA+ community creates a more inclusive social environment in Lithuania.
LGL’s projects are both national and international in scope. LGL has worked with partners in other European countries to advance LGBTQIA+ equality, tackle health and stigma discrimination and social exclusion through awareness raising, advocacy, and community building activities, educating youth, and empowering local activism. LGL organizes various cultural and social events, conferences, pride parades, and festivals to promote diversity and inclusion. In 2019, LGL ran a Baltic Pride initiative to establish sustainable cooperation with regard to LGBTQIA+ issues across the Baltic States based on long-term strategies and goals. LGL has arranged workshops on hate crimes with police officers as well as trainings for journalists on LGBTQIA+ issues. They also helped collect relevant information from interviews with key stakeholders across 10 European Union countries to develop an online reporting form and mobile app to help fight hate crimes and online homophobic hate speech. Working with Lithuanian officials, LGL acts as a civil society advocate for changes at the national policy level to improve the implementation of human rights standards for LGBTQIA+ people.
The 2019 Baltic Pride March for Equality organized by LGL attracted over 10,000 participants and featured artistic performances and discussions on employment and health issues faced by LGBTQIA+ people as well as legal hurdles to transgender transition. LGL launched a dedicated app in both English and Lithuanian to help festival goers learn about the events, performers, and discover LGBTQIA+ friendly places in Vilnius, Lithuania. Following the pride parade, an exclusive “Baltic Pride” magazine was released, discussing ways to fight discrimination, investigate and stop hate crimes, and highlight LGBQTIA+ tourism destinations.