Elton John celebrates Ukrainian LGBT law
Sir Elton John has congratulated Ukraine on passing a landmark LGBT anti-discrimination law.
The law, which has been on the agenda for some time in Ukraine, updates the country’s Labour Code, to protect against discrimination.
It specifically says workplace discrimination on the basis of “race, colour, political, religious and other beliefs, sex gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic, social and foreign origin, age, health, disability or suspected presence of HIV/AIDS, family and property status, family responsibilities, place of residence, or participation in a strike.”
The Rocketman singer, who has visited Ukraine multiple times and spoken on LGBT issues there, posted to his Instagram page with a message of support for the country.
He wrote: “AMAZING NEWS!!! Back in September, I flew to the Ukraine to speak to business leaders and President Poroshenko about improving rights for LGBT people. One of the things I asked was to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace,” the 68-year-old wrote. “Yesterday the Ukrainian Parliament passed a law supporting this!!”
The LGBT protections were only added to the bill on a sixth vote, after Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Hroysman had already said that the Parliament “stand[s] for family values and will never support gay marriage.”
It is widely believed that the move to outlaw LGBT discrimination is due to Ukraine wishing to join The Schengen zone, which aims to bolster free trade across Europe and allows visa free access to the EU for Ukrainian citizens.
However, the European Union has made it clear that one of the prerequisites for Ukraine joining The Schengen Zone is an anti-LGBT discrimination law.
Ukraine has a history of rejecting LGBT people. A group of LGBT activists were attacked after holding a meeting after a planned pride march had been banned.