The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO) and European Youth Forum, European Youth Forum, an international organisation established by national youth councils and international non-governmental youth organisations in Europe, are strongly condemning a draft law which would make any public discussion on homosexuality, positive depiction of gays and lesbians and same-sex relations, as well as LGBT rights advocacy activities such as demonstrations and pride marches a criminal offense.
The draft law No 8711, approved in the first reading by 289 out of 350 lawmakers at a parliament session on Tuesday, October 2nd 2012, proposes amendments to several existing laws, which would impose prison terms of up to five years and hefty fines for spreading the so-called “propaganda of homosexuality.”
It is very clear that this bill is in breach of free speech under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the European Convention on Human Rights. The Ukraine is a signatory to these treaties and should be held accountable under them.
An explanatory note accompanying the bill also stated that by “promoting the extreme forms of sexual frivolity, the Ukrainian media is creating the conditions for the spread of the AIDS epidemic in Ukraine”. IGLYO and European Youth Forum sees this draft law as having the potential to make it more difficult for LGBT people to access sexual health services and could further worsen the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country, which is not just an LGBT issue.
As a voice of LGBTQ youth and students in the pan-European region and beyond its borders, IGLYO has always supported diversity, equality and acceptance of young people irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity. IGLYO will be holding its General Assembly in Ukraine in December later this year. We believe this will further our solidarity with LGBT organisations and young people in securing their rights and improving their conditions in Ukraine.
IGLYO and European Youth Forum urge all International and European bodies and organisations to publicly condemn this discriminatory and shameful legislation. We call for Parliament of Ukraine to stop further adoption of homophobic legislation that would be direct violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of LGBTQ people, including LGBTQ young people whose experience is similar to, yet distinct from, the experience of the wider LGBTQ population.
For more information please contact IGLYO’s communications officer Patrick Dempsey at firstname.lastname@example.org