Oct 022012
Parliament passes 'prohibition of propaganda of homosexuality'

Today, October 2, 2012, public protest in front of Ukrainian Parliament took place against bill number 8711, which has the unofficial name “Law banning propaganda of homosexuality”, which carries a number of discriminatory provisions. About 20 community activists and activists representing various organizations and initiatives urged MPs to reject odious bill in first reading, because of its contrary to the concept of human rights.

This bill is aim to introduce administrative and criminal liability for the importation, manufacture and distribution of products that “promoting” homosexuality. Because the document does not define the concept of “propaganda”, it leaves a space for interpretation, its aimed to sencor the media, civil society activists and human rights defenders. This bill formally establishes censorship.

Moreover bill number 8711 violates the constitutional principle that prohibits the adoption of laws and regulations that restrict the content, or reduce the scope of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine (Article 22). Also, the bill violates the international obligations of Ukraine in the sphere of human rights, its making discrimination legal based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but also introduces censorship, in violation of the rights guaranteed by Art. 21, 22, 24 of the Constitution of Ukraine and art. 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Information: May 24, 2012 the European Parliament in its resolution strongly condemned the homophobic law in Ukraine. The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton expressed concern about discrimination based on sexual orientation in Ukraine. Also paper received a negative evaluation of the Central Scientific Expert Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and caused criticism of many Ukrainian and foreign experts in the field of law. Also expressed their protest many international human rights organization: Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, UN Office in Ukraine, a group of MEPs, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Olena Shevchenko

h/t Rex Wockner & See-ming Lee