The trend toward institutionalising homophobia to the east of Europe is on the march. The backlash against homosexuality in Russia, and the assertion that it is a Western malady, is now part of the political landscape in Ukraine. The Great Bear Russia still exerts considerable pressure on the country, which gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Ukraine – with its 24 provinces and one autonomous republic, Crimea – borders the Russian Federation. Its legislature is preparing to vote on a bill that will make it illegal to be homosexual in public. Last week a Pride Parade in the Ukrainian capital Kiev was cancelled, an action recommended by Amnesty International, which deemed it unsafe for the participants. A photograph of the beating of an activist by neo-Nazis all but confirmed that.
Nevertheless, the Ukraine wants to be part of the European Union. Its president, Viktor Yanukovych, has refused to speak out against the proposed bill, but is sending a delegation to the EU this Friday. All Out is running a petition to highlight this injustice. The choice for Yanukovych is simple: it is either the way of the EU or the way of Russia.
This is what the All Out petition says:
Ukraine’s legislature is about to vote a brand new bill into law that will make it illegal to be gay or lesbian in public. President Viktor Yanukovych has the power to stop the law, but has chosen to stay silent on the growing anti-gay sentiment.
The President says a new alliance with the European Union is his #1 Priority. As officials from Ukraine prepare to meet with an EU delegation on human rights this Friday, it’s time to finally bring this issue to light and force the President Yanukovych to speak out against these laws.
Will you take one moment to call on President Yanukovych to condemn the laws before his meeting on Friday? Every single voice of opposition makes a real difference.