This week the Ukrainian government passed at first reading bill number 8711 which bans undefined ‘propaganda’ of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues (LGBT) publicly. Some 289 of the 350 MPs registered in the sitting hall supported the bill, nobody voted against it.
The bill would make it illegal to discuss LGBT issues positively in the media, and includes proposals for introducing administrative fines and possibly prison terms.
This law has been announced shortly before the Ukrainian parliamentary election on 28 October 2012. Recent polling data has shown that the law would be popular with voters and that 78% of the country still view homosexuality negatively.
The International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine co-convened a press conference with the Council of LGBT Organizations of Ukraine, Amnesty International in Ukraine, the Centre for Social Action, and UNAIDS to call for Ukrainian authorities to immediately revoke the draft law No. 8711 which threatens the rights of LGBT people in Ukraine.
Anna Dovbakh, Associate Director: Policy and Partnerships at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine said “This is a disaster for organisations like us who provide health services to most at risk groups. This will prevent LGBT people having access to essential public health information – such as how to protect themselves from HIV - and risks making these groups even more marginalised and vulnerable.”
She continued “This law is totally in contravention of the European Convention for Human Rights and Freedoms which says that everyone has the right to freedom of expression which Ukraine agreed to be bound by in 1997 when it joined the Council of Europe.”
Read this press release by the European Parliament InterGroup on LGBT issues.
This will prevent LGBT people having access to essential public health information