Ukraine votes for ‘anti-gay propaganda’ bill

English: Viktor Yanukovych

Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Ukraine parliament today approved an “anti-gay propaganda” bill by a near-unanimous vote.

The bill was passed 289-0, with one abstention and 60 deputies absent.

If enacted, the bill would ban the import, manufacture or distribution of products that promote homosexuality and the use of media, TV or radio
broadcasting for homosexual “propaganda.”  The bill calls for fines or a prison sentences of up to five years for violations.

It was not immediately clear whether it would be as broad-ranging as this year’s new law in St. Petersburg, Russia, that has been used against even general discussions of homosexuality in the presence of minors. The Ukraine bill is labeled as a proposal aimed at “protection of children’s rights in the safe information sphere.”

“It is not clear what is counted as ‘propaganda’ under the proposed law. It could be an interview in the media or a protest. Or you could just be out on the street with your partner and someone could complain to say that is propaganda,” Olena Shevchenko of the Ukrainian human rights group Insight told Gay Star News.

The bill is scheduled for a second vote on Oct. 16 before it would be signed by Volodymyr Lytvyn, chairman of the Ukraine parliament; by Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych; and then become law.

Strasbourg / The Council of Europe

Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg, France (Photo courtesy of Dominique Edte via Flickr)

About 20 gay rights activists protested outside the parliament against the proposal, which was scheduled for a vote only the day before.

Shevchenko said the bill has several discriminatory provisions.

“Because the document does not define the concept of ‘propaganda,’ it leaves room for interpretation,” she said. “It is aimed at censoring the media, civil society activists and human rights defenders.”

Opponents of the bill include Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the United Nations office in Ukraine, the European Parliament and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

In a letter opposing the bill, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said, “By restricting the publication and dissemination of materials related to sexual orientation and gender identity, this bill would severely restrict access to information about health, support networks, and social activities for countless young people.”

Activists said they will ask the Council of Europe to intervene to stop the bill.

About Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart, a 40-year journalism veteran, is publisher and an editor of the "Erasing 76 Crimes" blog. More profile information on Google+.
This entry was posted in Europe and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Ukraine votes for ‘anti-gay propaganda’ bill

  1. Mark Leigh says:

    Hope they feel good and smug doing what they’ve always done out there – oppress people. Welcome to the 9th Century. Watch out Witches and Dragons – it’s you next.

    Like this

  2. Pingback: Stop the gay gag rule in Ukraine | All Out | digger666

  3. Pingback: Crackdown in Ukraine‏ (UPDATE) – Please Sign Petition « Infernal Deity of a Psychotic Mind

  4. Pingback: Ukraine’s anti-gay bill could lead to travel restrictions | 76 CRIMES

  5. Pingback: Ukraine vote on ‘gay propaganda’ likely tomorrow | 76 CRIMES

  6. Pingback: Pressure on Ukraine to reject ‘gay propaganda’ bill | 76 CRIMES

  7. Pingback: Ukraine sends mixes signals about LGBT issues | 76 CRIMES

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s