Ellex Valiunas has successfully represented Neringa Dangvyde Macate before the European Court of Human Rights, on a pro bono basis, in a dispute related to restrictions on the distribution of Dangvyde Macate’s fairy tale book, Amber Heart, depicting same-sex relationships and its subsequent labeling as harmful to children under the age of 14.
"The book contains stories about various groups experiencing social exclusion and discrimination – the disabled, emigrants, homosexuals, and people with skin color different from the majority, Roma, etc," Ellex informed, adding that its distribution "was limited due to the content of several tales depicting same-sex relationships."
According to the firm, the court found that such distribution restriction constitutes discrimination based on sexual orientation and violates freedom of expression enshrined in Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
"The court concluded that the author’s book was illegally removed from the market," Ellex reported, as "information cannot be considered harmful simply because it contains information about same-sex relationships. The court indicated that such a ban is not justified – the dissemination of information about same-sex relationships just expresses respect for models of same-sex relationships and promotes tolerance."
"We dedicate the case to the memory of the author," the firm announced.
The Ellex Valiunas team included former Partner Vytautas Mizaras and Senior Associate Marijus Dingilevskis.