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Ukraine Backs Off Gay-Gag Law (For Now)

Ukraine Backs Off Gay-Gag Law (For Now)

 

Lawmakers in the Ukraine this week failed to vote on a controversial law that would have banned mention of LGBT identity in public.

Law 8711, largely unchanged from when it was proposed last June, would make it illegal to engage in the so-called spreading of homosexuality by “holding meetings, parades, actions, demonstrations and mass events aiming at intentional distribution of any positive information about homosexuality.”

It likens the ”propaganda of homosexualism” to a national security threat and says a ban is necessary so as to ensure the “protection of children’s rights in the safe information sphere.”

Like its Russian counterparts, the law is so overreaching it would apply to journalists, teachers, and many in the entertainment industry.

The penalty for breaking the law would be a steep fine or even up to five years in prison.

The proposed law has been widely condemned by European officials who have noted its chilling threat to freedom of speech and assembly. It is unclear exactly why the Ukraine’s lawmakers chose not to take up the measure for its expected Friday vote, though international attention would certainly seem a likely explanation.

While activists have celebrated the fact that the vote was abandoned this time around, there remains a brief window of danger in September when Ukraine’s lawmakers could still take up the legislation.

Ukraine is currently attempting to join the European Union. The EU’s human rights standards would expressly clash with Law 8711, but other nations having enacted similar bans without much censor.

Russia’s various regional laws banning the so-called promotion of homosexuality, while having been widely condemned, have been relatively low on the EU’s agenda, and even the threat of a national law has drawn only the standard condemnations.

Similarly, Lithuania brought a similar law into force a few years ago. While memberstates had protested its rights abuses at the time, since then little action has been taken.

 

Related Reading:

Moscow Gay Pride Banned for 100 Years

Lithuania Proposes Ban on Gender Reassignment in Defiance of EU Court

More Leadership Needed to Ensure Fundamental Rights in the EU, Say MEPs

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Youseff Hanna.

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12 comments

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7:47AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Wow, the title of the article made me think something else.
It seems that I see things in a twisted way like a comedian sometimes.
Sorry for their situation and culture of hate that they have to deal with. Oppression sucks

8:26AM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

We shall now have to watch to see what happens in the future.

8:29PM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

Such a stupid law, how about they worry about the mail-order-brides and human trafficing instead?

6:29PM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

Thanks

6:28PM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

Thanks

3:39PM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

These places say they are doing this to protect children, meanwhile a Russian by was put in a rehab clink because he dad found out he's gay, and is now emancipated and estranged at age 16. This is caring for their children? I'd hate to see what they'd call abuse.

10:25AM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

Stay tuned....

10:15AM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

Interesting.

10:09AM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

10:07AM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

The Lituanian law was subsequently amended to allow Gay persons the freedom of assembly, petition, protest, speech, and association. That law was then tested, successfully, by LGBT persons in Lithuania, who held a Gay Pride Rally in Vilnius a few years back.

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