A parliamentary committee in the Ukraine has recommended that the state take steps to repress “homosexualism, lesbianism, other sexual perversions, which do not correspond to moral principles of the society.”

The Committee on the Issues of Freedom of Speech and Information’s stance follows letters from MPs claiming that gay and lesbian people threaten national security and contradict the national interest.

A leading LGBT rights group in the Ukraine has appealed to the international community to support their efforts in asking for equal rights.

“We all must not allow any revenge of dark forces in Ukrainian society,” Nash Mir said in a statement.

The group’s co-ordinator Andriy Maymulakhin said he was extremely alarmed by the situation.

“Authorities readily follow odious pro-church organisations,” he said.

“In their opinion, freedom of speech and human rights belong only to the heterosexual majority of the population.

“But gays and lesbians do not have any rights to speak about themselves and be visible.

“Such bigoted ideas are a direct attempt to introduce discriminatory policy and return to Soviet times with criminalisation of homosexual people.”

While the Ukraine continues to stress its European credentials and seek EU membership, there are questions over its commitment to human rights.

MPs from the governing party have spoken out about “propaganda and expansion of homosexuality in the country form a threat to national security, contradict national interests and undermine the authority of rights and freedoms of human being and family.”

The Ukranian parliament’s Committee on the Issues of Freedom of Speech has attacked the “increasing propaganda” about gay and lesbian issues.

“Such a situation obliges organs of state power to adopt determined and urgent steps for stopping popularisation of homosexualism, lesbianism, other sexual perversions, which do not correspond to moral principles of the society,” the committee reported.

Since 1991 Ukraine, formerly part of the Soviet Union, has had an equal age of consent and homosexuality was decriminalised at that time.

However, there are no specific protections for LGBT minorities, and the country is generally dominated by the Orthodox church and is deeply socially conservative.

Only 15% of the population are supportive of the existence of gay couples.