The Ukraine Parliament voted yesterday that gays and lesbians can still be legally fired from work because of their sexual orientation, thus ending the nation’s chances of visa-free travel through the European Union. In order to join Shengen, the problem-plagued former-Soviet country would have to end workplace discrimination against gays, the parliament, though, chose to continue to use Soviet-era laws to discriminate.
One-hundred seventeen lawmakers failed to support the change out of 450 in parliament. The vote shows just how divided the country is: those who want better relations with Europe and those who want closer relations with Russia.
Twenty-six countries belong to Shengen, which allows for less trade regulation and open travel among participating countries.
EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker told the Ukrainian President that the country must protect its LGBT citizens from discrimination, which is seen as a human rights issue.