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Protesters call for Ukraine to reject anti-gay bill

Campaigners in Brussels, Belgium, picketed Ukrainian Mission over proposals to ban 'homosexual propaganda'
ILGA-Europe protest outside Ukrainian Mission to EU in Brussels
Photo by ILGA-Europe

Protesters in Brussels called for the Ukranian parliament to reject a bill which bans 'homosexual propaganda' today (2 July).

Campaigners from ILGA-Europe picketed the country's Ukrainian Mission to the European Union after lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations in the Ukraine appealed to the international community to put pressure on politicians to stop the homophobic proposals.

The bill, similar to the one passed in St Petersburg, is due to enter its third and final reading in parliament this week.

If passed, it would amend existing laws on ‘the protection of morals’, media and publishing, as well as the criminal code, banning virtually all information on gay and bisexual issues and criminalizing LGBT human rights work in Ukraine.

Björn van Roozendaal, ILGA-Europe programmes director, said: 'Not only is this law in clear contradiction with non-discrimination principles and the right to freedom of expression and information, reasoning of such laws is sadly based on myths rather than facts.

'Drafters of such laws falsely assume that the work of human rights defenders is threatening religions and children. In addition, the position that human rights defenders and media would "promote homosexuality" is wrong and holds no truth. It just stigmatizes the community and undermines human rights standards.'

Online gay rights group AllOut.org have also campaigned against the bill, collecting over 60,000 signatures for a letter urging President Viktor Yanukovych to stand up for LGBT rights and speak out against the bill.

Kyiv's first ever gay pride parade was cancelled on 20 May after a threat of violence from right-wing football hooligans and the event's organizer Svyatoslav Sheremet was later beaten by thugs.

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