HRC Blog

Ukraine Parliament Passes Anti-Gay “Propaganda” Bill

This post comes from HRC Communications Intern Nick Gumas:

Legislators in Ukraine have approved a draft bill that would criminalize speech in favor of the LGBT community.  The legislation would seek to impose up to a five-year prison sentence on anyone who spread “propaganda of homosexuality,” which is considered to be any comments about the LGBT population that are supportive or positive.  This would include not only individual speech, but also pro-LGBT movies or books.  Russian news agencies report that sponsors of the bill claim that the legislation will help curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in Ukraine.

Ukraine has a recent history of anti-LGBT actions, along with its neighbor Russia, which also recently passed an anti-gay propaganda bill.  Anti-gay violence has been on the rise in both countries.  This past May, the head of the Gay Forum of Ukraine was beaten in broad daylight after a press conference. 

The bill was first brought up this past July. The draft legislation was approved with support of 289 of the 350 Ukrainian parliament lawmakers and is expected to move for a second round of reading in parliament later this month.  Viktor Yaukovych, the president of Ukraine, has yet to publicly comment on the bill.

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