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Court ban does not stop Ukraine's first ever gay pride event

Court ban does not stop Ukraine's first ever gay pride event
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After a Kiev court banned Ukraine’s first gay pride event from taking place in the city’s main square, organisers moved the event a few kilometres away.

Dozens people took part in the Equality March, with Amnesty International providing security staff to prevent any clashes.

To show support, foreign embassy staff joined in.

There to represent the German city twinned with Kiev was Munich Deputy Mayor Hep Monatzeder.

“We organise gay pride in Munich. It’s a joyful event, people join in, we have fun and there’s hardly a police presence. Here the situation is different – so many police, so many aggressive protesters. But I still feel safe,” said Monatzeder.

Last year’s rally was cancelled at the last minute, with organisers saying they had been threatened. One was beaten up in broad daylight.

There is little public acceptance of homosexuality in Ukraine, with opposition coming from Orthodox Christians and far-right political parties like Svoboda.

“They demand some special rights, special status. We are just telling them: if you want to carry out your perversions, just do it at home silently. What’s the problem?” said Svoboda MP Andriy Illienko

A move to criminalise the “promotion of homosexuality” is on hold.However, Ukraine’s government has also delayed a law protecting gay people from discrimination in the workplace.