Ukraine, Europe

Homosexual sex was legalised and the age of consent equalized in 1991. No recognition with respect to gay marriage or civil unions is currently legal. Gay Ukrainians generally feel they have been ignored by the political establishment. Ukraine is a conservative, mainly Orthodox Christian, country. In Ukraine, there are no anti-discrimination laws. The Ukrainian Constitution states that citizens are equal before law, but sexual orientation is not specifically mentioned. However, the list of grounds of discrimination includes an "on other basis", which could be used for gay protection, but it has never been tested in court. In June 2008 three leading gay and lesbian organizations in the Ukraine formed the Union of Gay Organizations of Ukraine (UGOU). The groups' purpose was to unite activists in three main areas: advocating rights and freedoms of gay people, mobilizing the gay community and improving the effectiveness of HIV-infection prevention among homosexuals. The Gay Alliance, Gay Alliance Cerkasy, and Nash Mir Gay & Lesbian Center provide an even wider range of information, advocacy, social, and health protection services.


News & Reports:


Gay Ukrainian soldiers believe war with Russia is changing attitudes at home

As Estonia becomes the first former part of the Soviet Union to legalise same-sex marriage there are hopes Ukraine could be next When Borys matched with Valentin on Tinder, he knew their first date would be unusual. It was just a few weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the pair met at a coffee… Read more »

Ukrainian, Russian Nobel Peace winners slam Putin’s ‘insane’ war

The triple peace prize award was seen as a strong rebuke to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Following the awards ceremony in Oslo, the recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize took turns criticising Russia’s continuing war in Ukraine. Jailed Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski, the Russian organisation Memorial, and the Ukrainian Centre for Civil Liberties were… Read more »

Ukrainian, Russian Nobel Peace winners slam Putin’s ‘insane’ war

The triple peace prize award was seen as a strong rebuke to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Following the awards ceremony in Oslo, the recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize took turns criticising Russia’s continuing war in Ukraine. Jailed Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski, the Russian organisation Memorial, and the Ukrainian Centre for Civil Liberties were… Read more »

Kyiv March For Transgender Rights Canceled After Violence By Far-Right Radicals

Kyiv — Activists for transgender rights were forced to disband a demonstration in Kyiv after counterdemonstrators assaulted several protesters and attacked a Canadian journalist trying to cover the event. The organizers of the event criticized Ukrainian police for failing to protect about 40 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights activists who had planned to… Read more »

Thousands Attend LGBT Pride March In Ukrainian Capital Of Kiev

An estimated 5,000 people attended an LGBT Pride march on Sunday in Ukraine’s capital of Kiev. According to the AP, the march only lasted 20 minutes and was repeatedly interrupted by opponents. Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that far-right radical groups tried to block the march seven times. Reuters reported that police in riot gear… Read more »

Far-Right Protesters Arrested at Kiev Gay Pride March

Kiev, Ukraine — More than 50 Ukrainian far-right activists were detained in Kiev on Sunday after they tried to disrupt a gay pride march, the police said. As around 5,000 people gathered for the march amid a huge security presence, about 150 members of a far-right group tried to block the route. Several threw gas… Read more »

Ukraine: Threats of violence block LGBTI event; police just watch

Police in Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine, stood by on May 10 as opponents of LGBTI rights disrupted a planned panel discussion about reasons not to adopt a Russia-style ban on “gay propaganda.” Human Rights Watch reported on May 16: Ukraine: Radical Groups Disrupt LGBTI Event Police Should Hold Those Responsible to Account (Kyiv) – Members of… Read more »

Gay and displaced on the frontlines of Ukraine’s conflict

Fighting is not the only thing driving people from their homes in eastern Ukraine. Persecution is also forcing LGBTI people to flee. His claims of having a girlfriend met with scorn – one of his neighbours had told them everything. Unless Viktor could present the woman within 24 hours or pay a bribe he could… Read more »

Thousands attend Pride in Ukraine despite death threats

Thousands of people marched in Kyiv Pride yesterday despite death threats to the organisers and far-right protesters. The march through the capital of Ukraine drew a crowd of 2,500 markers according to police spokesperson Oksana Blishchik. Judith Gough, the British ambassador to Ukraine, also joined the march which she said was held in a “fine… Read more »

LGBTI activists go missing after attempting to hold Pride event in Ukraine

They were traveling to the Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine Two LGBTI activists have gone missing in separatist territory in eastern Ukraine. Grey Violet, a Russian agender activist, and Victoria Miroshnichenko, a 27-year-old listed in some reports as a girlfriend, vanished in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR). We do not know Violet’s preferred… Read more »

Ukraine Shields Gay Rights Parade From Repeat of Violence

Kiev, Ukraine — Gay rights groups in Ukraine celebrated a milestone on Sunday — holding a parade without being chased or attacked by right-wing opponents. But the march, in Kiev, was guarded by police and security forces who sealed off much of the city center and warned participants not to linger afterward. About 2,000 people… Read more »

Thousands attend Ukraine’s first major LGBT Pride event despite far-right threats of ‘rivers of blood’

Ukraine has held its first major LGBT Pride event in Kiev, despite threats from far-right thugs that they would ensure that “rivers of blood” would run through the streets. More than a thousand people turned up for the Pride event in Kiev on Sunday. Several thousand police officers lined the streets following threats from far-right… Read more »

‘I’m gay in Ukraine and my country despises me’

Ukraine’s crisis is not just military and political, it is social and cultural. Kiev — In my long struggle to both be true to myself and to my homeland I always lose. I still hope to see a ray of light. Sometimes I do. Like during a groundbreaking — for Ukraine — queer art-show that… Read more »

Ukraine moves closer to visa-free EU travel as gay rights bill passes

Parliament adopts legislation banning discrimination against gay people in the workplace – a key condition for the European Union to ease travel restrictions Ukrainian lawmakers have approved a bill that bans discrimination against gay people at work – key legislation intended to help pave the way for visa-free travel between the country and the European… Read more »

Ukraine ‘to lose out’ on EU travel agreement after blocking LGBT rights law

Ukraine is set to lose out on a visa-free travel agreement with the EU, after the Ukrainian Parliament blocked a law protecting LGBT people from discrimination. The country – which is sharply divided between those who want better relations with Europe, and those who want closer ties with Russia – had applied to join the… Read more »

Masked men hurl smoke bombs at venue of Ukraine gay rights forum

Masked men have hurled smoke bombs into a venue in the Ukraine port city of Odessa where gay rights activists were about to hold a forum. They threw “several” smoke bombs at the participants before fleeing, Odessa Pride spokesman Kyrylo Bodelan said, adding that no-one was hurt in the attack. LGBT activists were planning to… Read more »

Gay Pride March Attacked In Kiev

Kiev (Reuters) – Several dozen unknown assailants attacked a gay pride march in Kiev on Saturday, throwing flares and wounding two policemen, a Reuters witness reported. On Friday the organizers for ‘KyivPride2015’ said the march along the Dnipro river would go ahead despite warnings from city mayor Vitaly Klitschko, who advised the event be canceled… Read more »

Ukraine: Oldest cinema in Kiev goes up in flames during gay film screening

Kiev’s oldest cinema went up in flames this week during the screening of a gay film after a smoke grenade was thrown into the audience. A fire broke out in the Zhoten cinema at 21:41 on Wednesday and lasted for roughly five hours, it has been reported. The flames were extinguished when 22 fire department… Read more »

Kiev Activist: Life ‘Dangerous’ for LGBT Ukrainians

Activist Globa Bogdan, who had his hopes for Kiev Pride dashed this year, says the culture of machismo threatens LGBT Ukrainians. For Bogdan Globa, founder and executive director of Tochka Opory|Fulcrum, an LGBT rights advocacy organization in Ukraine, the dream of celebrating LGBT Pride the way he saw it done in America seems farther away… Read more »

Ukrainian LGBT advocates cancel march

Ukrainian LGBT rights advocates say they cancelled a march that had been scheduled to take place in the country’s capital on July 5 because local police refused to protect them. Olena Shevchenko, co-chair of the Kyiv 2014 Pride organizing committee, told the Washington Blade on Monday that Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko told march organizers that… Read more »

Foreign gay tourist brutally murdered in Crimea

Crimean police is seeking criminals who murdered a foreign tourist in the heart of the resort city of Yevpatoria. The man’s body was found near the monument to World War II marines. According to preliminary investigation, the murder was motivated by homophobia. Next to the body of the tourist police found a burned down minibus,… Read more »

Crimea: Gay woman ‘fearful’ of life under Russia

A Crimean lesbian has said she is terrified that an anti-gay propaganda law will be imposed by Russia. Yelena, who has four children with her partner, told AFP that Russia’s annexing of Crimea from Ukraine had left her worried for her family. The openly gay school teacher spoke only on the condition that her last… Read more »

The Closeted Revolution: Kiev’s Gays Keep Quiet to Deny Putin a Propaganda Win

Last fall, Ukrainian gay activist Bogdan Globa eagerly joined his countrymen to protest then-President Viktor Yanukovych’s last-minute refusal to sign a trade and political agreement with the European Union. Gathering in Kiev’s Independence Square, or “Maidan,” the impromptu protest quickly transformed into a movement that, months later, led to Yanukovych’s ouster. For Globa and other… Read more »

Health and human rights crisis looming for people who use drugs in the Crimea

The International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) and the Eurasian Network of People who use Drugs (ENPUD) wish to call the attention of civil society, the United Nations, and member states to a largely overlooked aspect of the catastrophic situation currently unfolding in the Crimea. As has been widely reported, the Crimean peninsula,… Read more »

Can the far right in Ukraine accept LGBTI rights and equality?

Svyatoslav Sheremet, the leader of the Gay Forum of Ukraine, talks to PRIDE Solidarity about the precarious place of LGBTI equality in the Maidan movement As the Russian Parliament gave authority to President Vladimir Putin to use military action against Ukraine, the country’s LGBTI citizens wondered if the embattled government would respect their equality. Svyatoslav… Read more »

Comment: With all eyes on anti-gay Russia, there are three countries with a shocking need for coverage

Paul Canning looks critically at media coverage of the LGBT situation in Russia, highlighting other areas around the globe where hate crimes and violence have also soared, yet where media coverage is still minimal. It’s Russia, Russia, Russia when it comes to ‘foreign gay news’ these days. But it’s a much bigger and badder gay… Read more »

Anti-gay groups mount attacks in Ukraine

A rising wave of homophobia is spilling over from neighboring Russia where gay “propaganda” was recently banned This article originally appeared on GlobalPost. Global Post Kyiv, Ukraine — Taras Karasiichuk was near his home in Kyiv in May last year when he noticed a group of young men following him. They began taunting him with… Read more »

Ukraine human rights commissioner calls for LGBT hate crime laws

The Ukrainian Parliament’s Commissioner for Human Rights has called for LGBT status to be added to the country’s hate crime laws and for an end to attempts to ban so-called ‘homosexual propaganda.’ Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights Valeriia Lutkovska has called for lawmakers to add LGBT status to laws in the country’s criminal code… Read more »

LGBTQ Ukrainians advance democracy

LGBTQ Ukrainians held their first Equality March in Kyiv this past weekend and its significance goes well beyond calls for legal rights and protections for sexual minorities. In a conservative, deeply religious, fledgling democracy, one misunderstood minority’s peaceful march contributed to advancing freedom of press, speech, and assembly in Europe’s second largest and potentially one… Read more »

Ukraine gay rights activists hold first ever march

Kiev — Around a hundred gay rights activists marched in Ukraine on Saturday despite fears of violence, marking the first gay pride event in the ex-Soviet country, where homophobia is widespread and socially accepted. “This can be considered a historic day,” Elena Semyonova, a representative of the organisers, said after the event. “We felt like… Read more »

Court cancels Ukraine’s first gay pride rally

Kiev, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian court on Thursday banned what would have been Ukraine’s first-ever gay pride demonstration, upholding a suit by city authorities, who argued the rally would disturb annual Kiev Day celebrations and could spark violence. The ruling dashed the hopes of Ukraine’s gay and lesbian community, who planned to use the… Read more »

Ukraine’s Gay Pride Rally Canceled By Court

Kiev, Ukraine – A Ukrainian court on Thursday banned what would have been Ukraine’s first-ever gay pride demonstration, upholding a suit by city authorities, who argued the rally would disturb annual Kiev Day celebrations and could spark violence. The ruling dashed the hopes of Ukraine’s gay and lesbian community, who planned to use the event… Read more »

Ukraine: new report reveals pervasive homophobia

A new report by Amnesty International reveals homophobia reached endemic levels in Ukraine A report launched in Kiev a day before the International Day Against Homophobia, shows that homophobia and anti LGBT discrimination is spiraling out of control in the Ukraine. The 17 page report launched today (16 May), entitled ‘Nothing to be proud of:… Read more »

Gay Pride in Ukraine’s struggling democracy

“President Viktor Yanukovych’s regime, widely criticized for harassing reporters, nurturing a culture of corruption, and using the justice system to persecute political opponents like Yulia Tymoshenko, has a chance to show the European Union he can do something right.  He needs to support the event and protect demonstrators in favor of and opposed to civil… Read more »

Ukraine: Reject Discriminatory LGBT Laws

European Parliament Should Hold Kiev to its Rights Obligations (Moscow) – The Ukrainian parliament should reject two draft laws that would discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and infringe on their free expression rights. On April 3, 2013, one of the bills passed a parliamentary committee vote, sending it to the full… Read more »

God’s LGBT Children in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Moldova: Homosexuality is Not Sinful, Demonic, or a Mental Illness

The book is in Russian and includes a full English translation. It is authored by an Eastern Orthodox Bishop for LGBT individuals in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Russia. The book will resonate with Eastern European LGBT persons who are “out and proud,” out to a select few, and those who live quiet lives of isolation… Read more »

HIV tests, free condoms for Ukrainian Condom Day celebrations

If a Condom Day celebration evokes images of a bright festival with people dressed as variously flavored condoms dancing in the streets, a reality check is needed. Source – Kyiv Post

Ukraine: ‘Read Oscar Wilde? 5 years in prison’

Human rights activists in Ukraine have launched a media campaign and a petition drive against the proposal to impose a ban on “homosexual propaganda.” Posters in Kiev metro stations point out some possible outcomes if the bill is passed: “Listen to Queen? Five years in prison.” “Read Oscar Wilde? Five years in prison.” “Watch the… Read more »

Ukraine: HIV Coalition urges decriminalization of sex work

Coalition chair: “Sex workers are almost invariably women who have suffered a catastrophic loss of income because of a partner who refuses child support or some similar difficulty. These women need assistance and understanding, not condemnation and criminalization.” Kyiv (UBO) – As a part of meeting its responsibility to take the lead in formulating policies… Read more »

Europe slams Russia and Ukraine laws and says gay rights must be a ‘priority’

The European Parliament has told Russia and Ukraine to drop gay gag laws and said LGBT issues must be a foreign policy priority for the EU The European Parliament has told Russia and Ukraine to ditch plans to fine and jail people who talk positively about gay issues. The LGBT ‘gay laws’ already exist in… Read more »