Rada adopts homophobic law in first reading
Reposted from Kyiv Post: http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/rada-adopts-homophobic-law-in-first-reading-313801.html
When British pop star Elton John came to Kyiv this summer, he pleaded with the nation not to turn against the homosexual community and vote for a law that would’ve banned the “promotion of homosexuality.” But on Oct. 2, 289 lawmakers ignored the openly gay musician in favor of the bill.
The draft law amends several existing laws that make it illegal to talk about homosexuality in public and in media. Also illegal is the import, distribution and broadcast of video, photo and audio products that encourages homosexuality.
Those who do, risk being jailed for five years and fined for up to Hr 5,000 should the law pass a second reading and is signed by the president.
Communist Yevhen Tsarkov who authored the bill, says the law is aimed at protecting children from “homosexual propaganda.”
“Children, especially young boys aged 18 and younger whose personality is not formed yet, are being lured in by the gay community. And (their) whole life is ruined and nobody is held responsible for this,” said Tsarkov.
Now human rights organizations and Ukraine’s gay community are calling on parliament to nix the bill and stop discriminating against the nation’s lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.
“The draft law appears to be the outcome of stereotypical views on homosexuality rather than the result of a thorough process aimed at seeking the views of children and ensuring their best interest,” said Tetyana Mazur, Executive Director of Amnesty International in Ukraine.
Mazur continued: “If it is to live up to European and international human rights standards, the Ukrainian government must strive to create a society in which diversity is viewed not as a threat, but as a source of enrichment for society as a whole.”
Members of the LGBT community point out that the law is so absurd and homophobic, that it constitutes a witch hunt. Travesty diva Monroe, famous for her on-stage performances and blogs, said the police would have to start with Taisia Povaliy, a pop singer who is also a member of the ruling Party of Regions and parliamentary candidate.
“The whole video for her ‘Your Crimson Lips’ song shows two women splashing in the shower and kissing, thus publicly displaying their lesbian feelings,” Monroe wrote on her official Facebook page.
A traditional practice by Ukrainian lawmakers, the bill mirrors the Russian law on the same topic which, is in force in eight administrative government divisions there since 2006. The Russian law also includes administrative sanctions and fines.
“The motto of this draft law is to taboo the issue of homosexuality,” said Svyatoslav Sheremet, leader of the LGBT community in Ukraine.
He says the draft law has nothing to do with protecting children, but is about censorship.
“In developed countries they choose another way – to ensure the informational security of children, they do not eliminate information, but regulate children’s access to it,” says Sheremet.