This Tuesday, Parliament members in Ukraine made initial steps at passing a decidedly anti-gay draft law. The law deems the “promotion of homosexuality” — described as any action taken to portray homosexuality in a positive light — as criminally offensive and a threat to national security, as it is seen to be leading to, “an HIV/AIDS epidemic and also destroys the institute of family and can trigger a demographic crisis.” (Huffington Post) The law, which is in many ways somewhat descendent of the recent Russian legislation, which moved to ban homosexuality in public media, is directed towards materials encouraging an attitude of tolerance, and would condem offenders with up to five years in jail.
Though homosexuality has been legal in the Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, there remains a wide-spread attitude of intolerance, which was notably seen during the anti-gay protests that forced the cancellation of last May’s attempted Pride march.
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International Human Rights and Gay Rights activists have been passionately speaking out in opposition to the draft law, calling it discriminatory, and addressing the chair of Ukraine’s parliament, Volodymyr Lytvyn, who has previously publicly questioned the passing of anti-gay legislature. President Viktor Yanukovych, whose approval will be required in order for the law to pass, has refused to say whether or not he will be signing it. This proposed law has the ability to even further strain the Ukraine’s standing with the European Union and the U.N. Such a law would also be detrimental for those in the gay community in search of healthcare and social supportive networks.
Visit www.allout.org/ukraine_gag to discover what is being done to stop this hateful law from being passed in the Ukraine.