Target: Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych
Goal: Reject bill in Ukraine parliament that would criminalize depictions and information about LGBT people.
A bill presented in Ukraine’s parliament at the beginning of July would criminalize positive depictions of homosexuals in public. The pending law that would punish LGBT and allied citizens under the guise of spreading propaganda could be voted on and go into effect as early as September.
Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych has made no public remarks on this bill, but his representative in parliament has indicated support for signing the bill to law. Putting pressure directly on the president calling to reject the bill may help prevent this bill from becoming law.
Ukraine decriminalized homosexuality in 1991, but LGBT people still face discrimination and violence in the country. A planned Ukraine Pride Parade was halted in May due to violence against the organizers. A similar law to the Ukraine bill exists in neighboring Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg, which criminalizes what it deems “homosexual propaganda” being provided to minors. Gay rights activists have already been convicted and fined under this law.
Calling on President Yanukovych to speak against this bill would send the message that security for all citizens should be a priority and bills that criminalize information about a particular community is the same as criminalizing that community.
Dear President Yanukovych,
Although homosexuality was decriminalized in Ukraine in 1991, LGBT people still face discrimination and violence throughout your country. A planned Ukraine Pride Parade was halted this past May due to violence against the organizers. Now, a bill in parliament aims to criminalize positive depictions of homosexual people by claiming that such depictions are harmful propaganda.
This bill unfairly targets LGBT people and perpetuates the discrimination they already face. Security for all citizens should be a priority, but bills that criminalize information about a particular community is the same as criminalizing that community. By rejecting the bill, you can prevent it from becoming law and furthering targeted attacks against LGBT citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Benson Kua via Flickr