ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health

The Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, voted with an overwhelming majority to support a bill that would ban “homosexual propaganda”. 289 out of 450 members of parliament supported the bill, which is now expected to move for a second round of reading in parliament later this month.

After that the Chair of the Parliament and the President would need to sign the bill before it would become official law. The bill would modify several existing laws in Ukraine, including criminal law, and introduce sanctions for the import, production and distribution of products that would "promote" homosexuality. If voted into law, it would lead to the further marginalisation of the
lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community in the country and would limit the work of human rights defenders. Moreover the draft law is incompatible with international human rights law. First it is so vague that it fails to conform to the requirement that restrictions must be provided for by law. Under the draft law, it is impossible for an individual to determine what kind of expression is banned. Second, the asserted reasons for the “homosexual propaganda” ban fail the tests of proportionality and necessity. In other words, the restriction serves no permissible purpose. Third and finally, the homosexual propaganda ban discriminates against LGBT people by prohibiting public discourse on issues that matter to LGBT lives.