On Tuesday the Ukrainian Government moved a step closer to an outright ban on homosexuality by agreeing a bill that will effectively silence the whole Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered community in the country.
They approved the first reading of a horrifically homophobic legislation that would make it a crime to speak publicly about homosexuality in a positive way, punishable by a hefty fine or a 5 year jail term.
The shock draft bill received approval from 289 of the 350 lawmakers and will have to pass a secondary parliamentary hearing, currently scheduled for 16th October. If the bill passes and Vikto Yaukovych – the Ukrainian President signs the bill into law, any pro-gay talk will be outlawed under the term of spreading ’homosexual propaganda’. This basically means that no positive mention of gays can be made in any media outlet, gay magazines would also face prosecution along with publications and leaflets that promote safe sexual health between gay people.
The authors of the bill claim that “The spread of homosexuality constitutes a threat to national security as it leads to an epidemic of HIV/AIDS and also destroys the institute of family and can trigger a demographic crisis”
Whilst homosexuality has been legal in the Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, however recent surveys have suggested that as much as 78 per cent of the population think negatively of homosexuality and as such this bill could easily be seen as a popular vote winner for forthcoming elections.
A similarly homophobic bill that would have banned all public demonstrations of homosexuality, such as ’pride’ marches and events was scrapped earlier this year. However many fear the current proposed bill will lead to an eventual outlawing of homosexuality completely.
Gay and Human rights groups around the world have codenamed this latest attempt to curtail the freedoms of the Ukrainian gay community. If the bill is passed, it will further damage the already fragile relations between Ukraine and the European Union and some are predicting a boycott of Ukrainian goods and services.
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