Landmark law set for Ukraine to ban promotion of homosexuality

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Landmark law set for Ukraine to ban promotion of homosexuality

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A law to ban the promotion of homosexuality in Ukraine has passed its first reading with the support of the majority and opposition in the parliament.

Euronews correspondent in Kiev Angelina Kariakina says, “The authors of the draft law claim that questions on homosexuality create a rare unity among Ukrainian politicians and that is because Ukrainian society itself is ready to support these kinds of legislative initiatives”

Lilia Hryhorovych is one of the authors of the draft which if it becomes law would make the promotion of homosexuality a criminal offence punishable by prison. There are no clear definitions in the draft.

“What we mean by “promotion” is a gay parade, or, for example, leaflets handed out in front of a school saying: “Be yourself!” – with two boys kissing. There you have children going to classes, they are just 8-10 years old and they don’t even realise their sex. TV-products could get on the list as well,” she explained.

Human rights groups say the move is discriminatory in a country where homosexuality has been legal since 1991.

Opinion polls suggest the introduction of the law would be popular ahead of the parliamentary election later this month.

Olena Shevchenko from Ukrainian LGBT NGO “Insight” said: “Some LGBT families – gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transexuals raise kids. And this draft law claims to protect them from the promotion of homosexuality. I wonder what will happen to these families and these kids?”

It’s understood the law could be passed with the signature of President Viktor Yanukovich before the elections.

Analysts believe that could strain further Ukraine’s relations with the EU frosty over the treatment of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.