EU deeply disappointed by anti-gay bill in Ukraine
The European Union has expressed its deep disappointment by the vote in the Verkhovna Rada for a bill banning the promotion of homosexuality and stated that this document contradicts Ukraine's international commitments and values promoted by the EU.
This is stipulated in a statement made by Peter Stano, spokesperson for European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule.
Recalling that early this summer the EU sharply reacted to this legislative initiative, the spokesperson said: "It is deeply disappointing that this matter has been brought up again. Such a legislative initiative would further stigmatize the LGBT community, and put an additional strain on the principle of non-discrimination and the situation of freedom of expression, freedom of media, freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly."
Stano also noted that the text of the draft law runs counter to a number of Ukraine's international obligations, including under the European Convention of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
"[The document is] in contradiction with the norms and values that are promoted and defended by the EU and its member states both internally and internationally," he said.
Stano said that the EU "takes a firm position in defense of the human rights of persons that face discrimination and violence on various grounds, including their sexual orientation or gender identity."
"The European Union condemns every expression of homophobia and transphobia and considers these as unacceptable violations of human rights," he said.
As reported, on October 2 the Verkhovna Rada passed at first reading a bill amending some legal documents regarding protection of children's right to safe information space. Some 289 of the 350 MPs registered in the sitting hall supported the bill.
The authors of the draft law propose to introduce responsibility for actions that propagate homosexual relations, abuse of freedom of speech in the printed media, and the propagation of homosexuality on television and radio.
In addition, the authors of the document propose to add to the article of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on punishments for the import, production or distribution of products propagating violence, cruelty, racial, national or religious intolerance and discrimination a relevant provision on responsibility for the propagation of homosexuality.