Ukrainian National mass-media agency UNIAN (www.unian.net) posted a "Gay rights in Ukraine 2008" report made by "Nash mir" (Our world) Centre. According to it, Ukraine still has an alarming level of homophobia that often can be seen in state bodies actions, gay-hate statements of statesmen, church clergymen and extremist groups.
Report shows the data obtained for the period of 2008 year on the issue of gay rights violation in Ukraine, violation of equity and non-discrimination rights, the right to free access to information, justice and public gatherings, in particular.
According to "Nash mir" Centre information, Supreme Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) in its readings of the draft bill on labour rights in the end of 2007 and later in 2008 when this draft bill was adopted in its first reading, Ukrainian law makers simply refused to implement the legal norm to ban discrimination in labour sphere on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Furthermore, on February 10th, 2008 National Ukrainian TV Channel "Studio 1+1" broadcast Oscar-awarded famous gay movie "Brokeback Mountain". Soon after it, the National Council on television and radio broadcasting appealed to the National Panel of Experts on Protection of moral and public ethics requesting the experts to make an official resolution about the legitimacy of "Brokeback Mountain"'s broadcasting. So, the experts have stated that "the picture was able to harm physical, intellectual, ethic and psychic condition of a man, including the youth and children". In the resolution they wrote that the broadcasting of "Brokeback Mountain" had violated the Law on protection of public ethics and ordered to show that film only in night time (from 11 pm to 6 am).
Moreover, report says that on February 22nd, 2008, Kyiv General Prosecutor's Office has brought a criminal charge against editors of "Gay.Ua" paper (a publication of "Nash mir" Centre) on the grounds of article 301 of Criminal Code of Ukraine (distribution of porno). In response to this suit, the Centre "Nash mir" made a statement that "Gay.Ua" paper was an officially registered printed mass media that contained information, entertainment and erotic materials for gay community. The paper was not on sale and could be distributed only through subscription. "From the other hand, explicit soft core magazines for straight men can be freely bought in any paper kiosk and its editorial staff is not persecuted on the grounds of pornography distribution", says "Gay.Ua". Thus, we believe that actions and measures of Kyiv General Prosecutor's Office are discriminative and do not meet the ECHR judgement "whether it was clear or not that such explicit materials were showed to the public".
According to the monitoring of gay issue in Ukraine, on May 16th, 2008, "Liga" - the association of gays, lesbians and bisexuals of Nikolaev city, planned to hold a flash-mob action dedicated to the Int'l day against homophobia (IDAHO). That action was mostly aimed at overcoming myths about homosexuals and its organisers wanted to post banners on commercial boards of the city, to make three street actions and show a documentary film in the "Liga"'s headquarters. The local authorities were notified about all of these actions in advance, according to the acting law. In its response, the Nikolayev's authorities said that "they had received a letter from the head of the city's Christian union with a request to ban such gay actions" and "so, in order to keep order and exclude any conflicts on the grounds of ethic and religious feelings of the townspeople, we officially prohibit to hold such actions in Nikolaev". "Nash mir" representatives declare that by doing so, the local officials have grossly violated the right of gays and lesbians of Nikolaev on peace gatherings, that was written down in the Article 39 of Ukrainian Constitution".
In the end of May 2008 "Liga" filed a suit to the Nikolaev Central district court and to the Economic court of Nikolaev city with a complaint on the flash-mob actions ban by the local authorities. But both judicial bodies have refused to carry any procedure, declaring that they had no jurisdiction to solve such disputes.
In September 2008 Ukrainian gay and lesbian organisations have proposed to the state bodies an Ukrainian Plan of counteractions to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Plan included a list of actions necessary to be carried out in order to implement and enjoy the full power of civil rights and freedoms of homosexuals. So far, the State keeps silence, reports "Nash mir" Centre.
Moreover, on December 18th, 2008, for the first time ever, the UN General Assembly has tabled and adopted the Joint Communique of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, signed by 66 member-states, Ukraine abstained. The official spokesman of the Ukrainian Foreign Office, Vassily Kirilic, stated that "in that sphere they did not have any problem and they would not need to speak about it. In Ukraine that phenomenon was decriminalised, there was no punishment and no persecution".
Translated byYerdna Bananes