A conservative Lithuanian lawmaker who has made several anti-LGBTQ statements in the past was caught with a naked, much younger man at his residence during a Zoom conference call.
Now, now he is struggling to come up with a logical explanation behind the mysterious man's unclothed presence in his apartment.
Lithuanian member of parliament (MP) Petras Gražulis was one of the participants on a Culture Committee Zoom meeting when a young, naked man briefly appeared alongside him on his screen. From the looks of it, it seemed like the politician was facing some technical issues so he turned to his naked companion for help.
The clip was widely circulated on social media and the news went public, with Gražulis grabbing headlines over his little rendezvous with the naked man. When asked about the video, the lawmaker came up with some absurd explanations of what the naked man was doing there.
Gražulis First Claimed It Was His Son
According to local newspaper 15min, at first Gražulis reacted angrily to the video and said that the young naked man was his son. However, half an hour later he changed his story saying that it was Andrius Tapinas, a Lithuanian journalist who had been "persecuting" him for months.
"Yes, I said that [it was my] son, but looking at the video better, I can guarantee that Andrius Tapinas is there," he insisted. "He's haunting me everywhere, it's no wonder that he got here."
When pointed out that the man in the video looks nothing like Tapinas, Gražulis suggested the video may have been digitally altered. "Andrius could easily change his appearance," the lawmaker said.
[Tapinas] Has Been Haunting Me For Half a Year
While addressing the incident in the Seimas – Lithuania's parliament – he said at first that he "didn't even notice" the naked man until he saw the video of the meeting.
"To keep you all from asking the same question," he told the Seimas, "I will just tell you. Ten other MPs already asked me that question. It was Andrius Tapinas, it was really Andrius Tapinas. If you don't believe me, just ask him." Tapinas, of course, has denied he was the naked man in the politician's apartment.
"When I'm visiting Gargždai, when I'm visiting my daughter in Palanga, he stands under the windows," Gražulis added. "He has been haunting me for half a year now."
Gražulis' Anti-LGBTQ Stance
In 2010, Gražulis proposed legislation to make promotion of homosexuality illegal in an attempt to ban Pride parades. The law would impose fines to penalize any kind of public expression or portrayal of, or information about, homosexuality." However, the bill failed by two votes.
In 2007, Gražulis referred to gay people as "sick and perverted" and claimed they are a threat to society because "they molest children. In 2012, the politician gate-crashed an LGBTQ rights event attended by senior foreign officials and demanded that all gay people leave the country and a year later gifted an offensive present to a Lithuanian LGBTQ group – a pair of men's trousers with an anal zip.