Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Vilkul has registered a draft bill that seeks to protect “public morals” by fining and imprisoning those who engage in same-sex relationships.

The draft legislation stipulates that LGBT+ people would be fined for their relationships, and that they would be imprisoned if they become repeat offenders, according to Open Democracy.


Participants attend a pride march in central Kyiv on June 17, 2018. (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty)

However, Ukrainian LGBT+ people shouldn’t worry just yet, as the bill will have to go through a number of different parliamentary committees in order to be passed. One of these committees is the Committee on Human Rights, Ethnic Minorities and Inter-Ethnic Relations.

The draft bill was registered quietly earlier this month, and marks Vilkul’s first foray into legislative issues for the LGBT+ community.

In an explanatory note with the draft legislation, Vilkul – who is also a former Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine – said that the state needs to pay particular attention to “the artificially created problem of discrimination against people with non-traditional sexual orientation.”

He also says in the note that equality marches, pride parades and queer culture festivals should be banned, and classified as “deviant behaviour.”

Those who are accused of demonstrating same-sex relationships would be fined 1,000-1,500 rubles. If they repeat the offence, they could be imprisoned for between three and five years.

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The legislation would also prevent people from importing publications that “promote same-sex relationships,” and those accused could be imprisoned for up to three years.

It also seeks to remove the terms “sexual orientation”, “gender identity”, “gender equality” and “gender-based legal assessment” from Ukrainian legislation.

The bill also deals with other issues, such as financial aid during pregnancy and grants for students from large families.

Open Democracy reports that the bill is unlikely to pass through the first committee that will examine it, and will likely either be sent away for reworking, or rejected completely.

Participants march behind a banner as they take part in Kyiv Pride (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty)

The new draft bill has a number of similarities to a bill that was tabled earlier this year by the Ivano-Frankivsk city council in western Ukraine, which sought to ban same-sex relationships from being represented in public.

That law was ultimately stopped in its tracks in April when the country’s anti-discrimination Ombudsman said it would “restrict human rights.”

LGBT+ people in Ukraine have moved towards greater acceptance in recent years, however they continue to face challenges.

While same-sex relationships are not currently criminalised, same-sex marriage is not legal.

A 2017 poll found that 56 percent of Ukrainians believed that gay and bisexual individuals should enjoy equal rights.




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