The minister said that discussions family matters should focus on practical issues, particularly problems that emerge after things "change for the worse," for example, during divorce or dividing up children and property.
"No sooner to we open a national discussion – what is family and what is not, what is a marriage and what isn't, etc. - when disagreements emerge regarding values and ideologies. Indeed, the discussion is doomed to be heated, filled with ideology and probably not productive at all," Šimašius told participants representing various institutions.
"Loud headlines on legal institutes is not as important as the actual life of people within these institutes – whether it helps them address their legal problems or not," he added.
The minister dismissed as comic the social publicity campaign organized by the Social Security and Labor Ministry, which put up posters with slogans “Protect Marriage – Preserve Lithuania” in cities across the country.
"If posters on streets say that families need protection, we should discuss the methods of protection and identify who we should protect and from what. This aspect, however, is not entirely clear to me," Šimašius told the conference.
"I haven't seen a single person in the political arena who would say that marriage was something bad or that families should be broken up," he told BNS.