No Pride marches, no protection: a “gay propaganda law” could be made legal in Ukraine
A Ukrainian province has unanimously voted for a “gay propaganda law” to be legislated in Ukraine.
The law, which would prohibit LGBT+ people and relationships from being represented in public, has been tabled by the Ivano-Frankivsk city council in western Ukraine, with 29 officials voting to send a petition to the national government vying for its ratification.
Originally tabled by the Christian Movement for Life, the city’s Mayor Ruslan Martsinkov agreed to add it to the agenda for approval.
Later, without reading and informing the deputies about the contents of the document, Martsinkov put it to vote, reported kurs.if.ua.
The petition, which requests that the government installs a Family Minister in order to “uphold traditional family values,” also asks the government to abandon the usage of the words “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” as they are “ideological and anti-scientific.”
It also asks for “marches of equality”, “pride”, “gay parades” and “festivals of flower-culture” to be banned in the country.
According to a member of the LGBT+ community living in Ukraine, who has asked not to be named, said Pride marches for LGBT citizens in the country are “incredibly dangerous”.
LGBT+ people can often be attacked in the street by nationalist groups, they said.
“Gay prides are incredibly dangerous because fascist Ukrainians can take your life,” they said.
“The Pride ceremonies may exist, but with nationalists, they can be fatal,” they added.
Addressed to the national government, the document states that there is “deep concern that is caused by the fact that the authorities have not yet decided on the state strategy of development and support of the family.”
“Today there are many challenges that affect the situation of people and families in Ukraine: orphanhood, children with disabilities, children with special needs, single mothers, single-parent families, inability to fully exercise their constitutional rights to treatment, education, housing, social protection, decent living standards. At the same time, for unknown reasons, the state gives priority attention only to the artificially created problem of so-called discrimination against people with unconventional sexual orientation,” the document says.
This strategy, according to the authors of the appeal, should be based on “the traditional spiritual values of Christianity in Ukraine and the traditional understanding of the family for our people as a legitimate union of men and women who give birth and raise children.”
“Ivano-Frakivisk is at the cultural centre of Ukraine,” said one gay resident in the country.
“Although Rada (the Ukrainian central government) can reject the bid, it shows that the situation is just getting worse.”
“Conditions for LGBT+ Ukrainians are bad enough as it is. Nationalists can hunt out LGBT+ people just for fun and if they have protection through law, it will become even worse, just like in Russia,” they said.
“If the petition becomes legislation, the LGBT+ community will go underground forever and lots of people will have to leave country,” they added.
At present, there are just eight safe house spaces for LGBT+ people in Ukraine.
Ruslan Martsinkov has previously expressed anti-gay views, after he said that only gay people can be Ukrainian patriots during a speech at Victory at the Victory March in the Life and Family Values March in 2016.
A year later, the Mayor said that he still held the same view.
Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, which resulted in widespread controversy as hate crimes against LGBT+ people have doubled since its introduction.
The Russian “gay propaganda” was unanimously approved by the Duma in 2013.