Gay Ukraine News & Reports 2010-11

1 Ukrainian gays and lesbians talked about their achievements 1/10

2 Ensuring freedom of assembly for LGBT people in Moldova and Ukraine 4/10

3 Gay Forum of Ukraine 12/10

4 Ukrainian police illegally collecting a database on gays 12/10

5 Ukraine adopts sensational National Resolution on HIV/AIDS 12/10

6 Ukrainian Gay Activists will Present "Picture of Things" 4/11

7 Book on How Gays Learn to Live With HIV 6/11

8 Action Alert: Prevent the eviction of the Lavra Hospital 7/11

9 Gay Organizations Join a Coalition to Oppose Discrimination 7/11

10 National Peculiarities of Homophobia in Ukraine 8/11

11 Anti-gay bill introduced in Ukraine 8/11

12 Letter to Chairman of Parliament 10/11

04 January 2010 – Ukraine News OnLine

Ukrainian gays and lesbians talked about their achievements in 2009

by Volodarsky
Activists of the gay and lesbian community of Ukraine held the final annual forum in Kiev, where they talked about their achievements and failures in 2009, as well as the plans for the next year. The event was held with the financial support from the International Alliance on HIV/AIDS in Ukraine.

The forum summed up the results of the gay organizations activity in 2009 and set the goals for 2010. There were presented the results of the three key studies, conducted in 2009: same-sex partnerships in Ukraine, the level of HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM), as well as the study to determine the needs of MSM in social and health services.

‘The year 2009 was very productive for us in many ways’, – says Laima Gaydar, chairwoman of the feminist-lesbian organization the ‘Women’s Network’. – ‘First, LGBT infrastructure has become stronger in Ukraine: at present there are 21 registered gay and lesbian organizations and more than 20 informal associations of gays, lesbians and bisexuals. There are 25 HIV-service and other organizations that provide social and medical services to people who practice same-sex relationships. Second, we are witnessing an increase in tolerance towards homosexual people among leading politicians. Third, homophobic rhetoric of religious organizations has weakened considerably. Among the negative aspects we have to note the increase in criminal and terrorist activities among far-right faction because of hate towards homosexual citizens’.

April 28, 2010 – ILGA Europe

Ensuring freedom of assembly for LGBT people in Moldova and Ukraine

This May lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) organisations in Moldova and Ukraine are planning to hold public events. Today the court in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau ruled that the planned peaceful demonstration supporting adoption of anti-discrimination law can only take place in a park far from the city centre. The organisers, GenderDoc-M, plan to appeal this decision while rejecting the alternative location for their event. Following the court decision they have cancelled their original demonstration in the central square. The Mayor of Chisinau requested the court to ban the demonstration on the basis of public order and morality after receiving petitions from religious and other groups opposing the LGBT event.

The authorities in both countries have previously prevented GenderDoc-M (Moldova) and LiGA (Ukraine) from peacefully exercising their right to freedom of assembly by banning LGBT public events. The European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT rights, ILGA-Europe and Amnesty International jointly call on the authorities in Moldova and Ukraine to respect their obligations as Members of the Council of Europe and to ensure that LGBT people are guaranteed their right to freedom of assembly and fulfil their positive duty to protect the participants even if others oppose human rights for LGBT people. LGBT activists in Moldova have been banned from organising public events since 2005. In 2007, the Supreme Court of Moldova declared illegal the banning on a public LGBT event in 2006.

In 2009, all festival events, even those of a private nature, organised by LGBT activists in Nikolaev, Ukraine, were obstructed and banned by the city authorities. This year Nikolaev LGBT activists are planning a public event on the 16th of May. Freedom of assembly is a human right which is guaranteed by major international and European human rights instruments including: Article 21 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and Article 11 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This right is also protected in both countries’ constitutions (Article 39, Constitution of Ukraine, and Article 40, Constitution of Moldova).

The established case-law of the European Court of Human Rights on freedom of assembly has been affirmed in relation to LGBT people and the Court said that violating the right of assembly on the grounds of sexual orientation is discriminatory. The Court affirmed that the freedom of expression extends not only to the ideas and views of the majority, but also to those belonging to minorities or those that may cause shock, disagreement and opposition. Moreover, the Court has consistently ruled that if there is a risk of violence from counter-demonstrators, the state has a positive duty to protect demonstrators.

In March 2010, the governments of both, Moldova and Ukraine, approved the Council of Europe’s Recommendations on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. These Recommendations reaffirm the obligation on the Member States of the Council of Europe to ensure ‘that the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, as enshrined in Article 11 of the Convention, can be effectively enjoyed, without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.’ Both countries are establishing closer links with the European Union under the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy. Accordingly, they must demonstrate a willingness to promote and protect the EU’s fundamental rights principles.

December 7, 2010 – MSMGF

Gay Forum of Ukraine

(Russian to English translation)
In Kiev, MSM and LGBT organizations discussed future activities. Planning for the first time was in the format of an extended meeting with representatives of state authorities and key partners in international organizations. In planning the representatives of the majority operating in Ukraine LGBT and MSM-service organizations, the aggregate number of which now stands at 48.

During the two days was carried out a systematic review of the status of LGBT / MSM-sphere, the main achievement of the expiring of the calendar year, identify key areas of work for next year, carried a frank exchange of views on topical issues of the LGBT movement and the IMS service. Thanks to the advocacy efforts of the organizers for the first time such a meeting attended by a delegation of Ukraine Ministry of Internal Affairs, composed of five employees of the central apparatus. In this regard, particular attention was paid to issues of legality with regard to LGBT on the part of the Interior.

Was also reached an informal agreement to set up a special working group under the relevant Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. At the meeting were distributed Appeal Leaders of the initiative group of HIV-positive homosexual men of Ukraine to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, philanthropic foundations, the HIV-service and LGBT organizations, which highlighted the problems of HIV-positive MSM. For the first time the planning covered issues of transgender people. Of those issues, which rose at the meeting, most kontraversiyno sounded issue of public shares in the LGBT community, gay marriage / registered civil partnerships, the organization of the Council of LGBT organizations Ukraine.

A particular achievement of the meeting is to engage in dialogue around the issues of MSM / LGBT people are not only representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but also the coordinator of UNAIDS in Ukraine, adviser on law and policy of the UNDP Office in Ukraine, the Head of a healthy lifestyle of the Ukrainian Ministry for Family, Youth and Sports , a leading physician-epidemiologist Ukrainian Center for Prevention and Control of AIDS and other reference specialists representing a broad range of stakeholders.

In total, took part in stratplanirovanii 62. The meeting took place in a working format, without inviting the media. Fasilitirovali met Anna Dovbakh, Miroslav Debelyuk (ICF "International HIV / AIDS in Ukraine") and Svyatoslav Sheremet (PWG-Ukraine). The organizers were stratplanirovaniya ICF "International HIV / AIDS in Ukraine" and the constant reference group for the LGBT community and MCM-service projects in Ukraine (PWG-Ukraine).

December 11, 2010 –
Google Russian to English translation

Ukrainian police illegally collecting a database on gays

The situation with respect for the rights of sexual minorities in Ukraine is stable remains difficult. Told a press conference in Kiev, said human rights activist center for gays and lesbians "Our World" Oleksandr Zinchenko, the newspaper said on Kievski with reference to UNIAN. According to him, in the ranking of violations of the rights of the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people – UNIAN) are leading the relationship with law enforcement. This is – almost half of all recorded cases of violations of the rights of sexual minorities, "he said. "The most significant violations in this area is the illegal collection and storage of confidential information, that is, photographing, fingerprinting of virtually any person of homosexual orientation, which goes to the police – provided that the orientation of the person becomes known to police", – said Zinchenko.

Thus, in his opinion, the police to collect illegal database on people with gay. As noted by Alexander Zinchenko, in relation to the LGBT community is often violated the right to liberty and security, right to privacy, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of speech. "None of the peaceful demonstration, which tried to organize a lesbian and gay organization, did not go smoothly. Almost all of them were subjected to counter-aggression from the right-wing organizations or wrongly been banned by local authorities ", – he said.

December 29, 2010 – Antidogma
Google translation Russian to English

Ukraine adopts sensational National Resolution on HIV/AIDS

The idea of the abolition of administrative penalties for prostitution, the inclusion of same-sex families in the next census, the celebration at the state level, the International Day of Tolerance, the expansion of education on sexuality, the struggle against the expulsion of the parents of gay teenagers from their families, a large-scale Sex Research among the Ukrainian population, program prevention among border guards and other innovations are reflected in the final resolution of the National Conference on HIV / AIDS "For every life – together", reports citing the press service of the Gay-Forum of Ukraine.

Conference on HIV / AIDS, held November 17-19, would have remained, probably, almost unnoticed, despite the fact that it gathered in Kiev more than seven hundred participants, was organized by the Ukrainian government, in partnership with major international organizations. But now, after more than a month of painstaking work by the experts on the final recommendations adopted and promulgated the final resolution, which embodied the most daring and revolutionary ideas in tackling the epidemic of HIV / AIDS and human rights.

Addressees of the resolution were 26 subjects, including – key public authorities. The document, supported by leading experts of wide profile and key government officials, states that for an effective response to HIV / AIDS "requires a revolution in the area of prevention, in both policy and practice." …

Read the full story.)

April 6, 2011 –

Ukrainian Gay Activists will Present "Picture of Things"

Objective "picture of things" in the life of Ukrainian gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people going to get to the end of 2011 Nash Mir, one of the oldest LGBT organizations in Ukraine. "Our World" launched the "Respect for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) people in Ukraine."

Collect and study information about human rights violations – the first and very important element of human rights work, it is believed the activists. Not having reliable information – statistics and concrete examples of discrimination – it is impossible to prepare a report which would be seriously accepted by policy makers, international organizations and journalists. Therefore, the authors of the project intend to use a variety of sources for data collection. And one of the key, of course, will be the Internet.

The site of "Our World" posted a survey that will help the overall picture of the status quo – in which the public sphere homosexuals often face challenges, some of these problems and what should be done to improve the situation. Take part in the survey can be a link>>.

June 28, 2011 – Gay.Ru Rainbow News
Russian to English translation

Gennady Roshchupkin Publishes Book on How Gays Learn to Live With HIV

International HIV/AIDS in Ukraine presented a new book for young gay and bisexual men, having learned that they have HIV. Its author – well-known activist Gennady Roshchupkin, he was 18 years old living with HIV. Name Gennady Roshchupkina among homosexuals has been known since 1991. September 9th 20 years ago a patient of the Moscow Hospital for Infectious Diseases on a hunger strike, demanding the abolition of Article 121 and the creation of a government program to combat AIDS. His campaign culminated in a relative success: in the hospital have improved nutrition and care. And now for the past 20 years, Gennady Roshchupkin – an active participant in programs to prevent HIV infection and the initiator of many projects. In recent years he has lived and worked in neighboring Ukraine.

"Here, I suggest you talk about what happened to you, and how to make the most important thing of what constitutes the life of any person, including HIV-positive – to be independent, active, and to decide what to do, do you interesting deed, to love and be loved "- appeals to you and Gennady Roshchupkin tells about himself:" It took me over 10 years to learn to live with HIV, it is to live, not survive, to use time and energy for his own pleasure, not "to fight the disease for the rest of life." You can not lose so many years, and just use the fact that I found and recognized. Maybe our conversation with you will not always pleasant. Yes. But my task is not to entertain you, but to share with you my experience. I sincerely hope that you find yourself here for something useful, and it will help you to be confident and happy. "

The book is free, you can download it from here.

18 July, 2011 – MSM Global Forum

Action Alert: Prevent the eviction of the Lavra Hospital

Dear colleagues,
The All-Ukrainian Network receives alarming information about eviction of the Clinic in the Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases named after Hromashevskyi L.V. of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine (The “Lavra Clinic”), where it functions for many years already. The Clinic is the only one medical institution in Eastern Europe of this kind that provides high level treatment and diagnostics for the most difficult to treat patients.

We invite you to join our initiative and make your input into the campaign against the eviction of the Clinic. And therefore to save lives of thousands of patients. Herewith we send you a sample letter against eviction of the Clinic to the Prime-Minister of Ukraine Mr. Mykola Azarov. Please, also introduce into the letter as far as possible the additions which are necessary from your viewpoint. It’s necessary to put the title of your organization and the signature of the Head of your organization in the text.

The letter should be faxed and mailed to the Embassy of Ukraine in your country. Here is the link with addresses of Ukrainian Embassies in your countries. We express our gratefulness to you for your support!

Yours sincerely,
Volodymyr Zhovtyak
Head of Coordinating Council
All-Ukrainian Network of PLWHA
87 a, Mezhygirska Str., Kyiv,
Ukraine, 04080
fax: +38 (044) 351-16-06
Mobile.: +38 (067) 447 05 70

View this article’s attachment here

July 26, 2011 – Gay.Ru – Rainbow News
Russian to English translation

Ukrainian Gay Organizations Join a Coalition to Oppose Discrimination

In neighboring Ukraine, set up a public anti-discrimination Coalition (PAC). It brings together dozens of organizations, including protecting the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. About creating efficiencies reported late last week by representatives of advocacy groups, among them – Gay-Forum of Ukraine. At a special press conference it was a draft law "On protection from discrimination," developed by the initiative and with the participation of nongovernmental organizations.

"The list of legally protected grounds of discrimination unparalleled. In this list of 22 positions, including … sexual orientation – the leader of the Gay-Forum Svyatoslav Sheremet. – If the bill is passed by Parliament, and there is no doubt, this will lead Ukraine at the forefront in Europe. " Gay activists are counting on the bill, based on the desire to fulfill the requirements of the EU countries, which will simplify the visa regime for Ukrainian citizens. One of the points of a specific plan, previously approved by the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, is to develop a national strategy to combat discrimination.

August 3, 2011 – Ukraine Watch

National Peculiarities of Homophobia in Ukraine

by Ukraine Watch
Tamara Martsenyuk, PhD in Sociology, Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

In Ukraine lately sexual identity issue is widely used to raise questions about morality, demography, and even national threat. One of the largest fighters “for moral cleanliness of the Ukrainian society and against propaganda of perversion” is so called “movement” Love against Homosexuality (LAH)[1]. Its leader, famous journalist Ruslan Kukharchuk in his blog in “Ukrainian Pravda”[2] provokes discussions based on hatred. Moreover, after All-Ukrainian Union “Council of LGBT Organisation of Ukraine” has been registered, LAH sent statement to President of Ukraine and Minister of Justice: “homosexuality is acquired phenomenon and it does not have genetic nature, its dissemination is caused by a number of factors, particularly by propaganda”[3]. According to LAH opinion, “dissemination of homosexuality contradicts national interests of Ukraine”, leads to HIV/AIDS dissemination, demographic crisis intensification, family institution destruction, narrowing of citizens’ constitutional rights, and freedom of religion elimination. The similar arguments against homosexuality are chosen by Party “Svoboda” that in December 2010 hold an action against homosexuality.[4]

Homosexuality and homosexual people are used as “common enemy” to unite young people and distract from urgent social issues, poverty, corruption, etc. In March 2011 protest against propaganda of homosexuality and juvenile justice has been conducted by Lviv NGOs and young people (students unions, Student government of Lviv and Student Mayor of Lviv).[5] Definitely, important economic and political issues for young people to protest!

Finally some Ukrainian politicians provided example of fight for “morality” of Ukrainian society and against “threat to national security.” While Ukraine had ratified numerous international and European legal acts on human rights, including UN Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, on June 20th 2011 Members of Parliament have registered a draft Law “On Introduction of Changes to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine (Regarding Protection of Children Rights on the Safe Information Sphere)”, giving such rationale: “The draft law ….. is designed to strengthen protection from homosexual propaganda in Ukraine and establish the legal framework for the prosecution of violations of the laws which protect public order and morality in Ukrainian society. The spread of homosexuality is a threat to national security, as it leads to an epidemic of HIV / AIDS, destroys the institution of the family and can cause a demographic crisis.” The draft law seeks to achieve this objective through amendments of five laws addressing protection of public morals, regulation of the media/publishing, and the criminal code. In each case this is done through simply adding either “the promotion of homosexuality” or “the production/distribution of products which promote homosexuality” to the list of prohibited activities in the legislation.

Now it is difficult to say how much support the draft law will receive. MP members who worry a lot about “morality of society” may push it forward without any doubt. It will be considered first by the Parliamentary Committee on freedom of speech and information, and by the Scientific and Expert Department of the Parliament. It would then go to a first hearing, probably in the autumn 2011. And in case the law is adopted it automatically strengthen the censorship making problematic even to teach at the University on gender and sexuality in courses on gender studies and violate LGBT rights in Ukraine.

August 11, 2011 – Pride Source

Anti-gay bill introduced in Ukraine

by Rex Wockner
An anti-gay bill has been introduced in Ukraine’s parliament, according to the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
The measure "regarding protection of children’s rights in the safe information sphere" would amend the Criminal Code – as well as laws concerning public morality, print media, television and radio, and publishing – to make "propaganda of homosexualism" a criminal offense.

"(The measure) is absolutely discriminatory," said the Ukrainian organization Insight. "The bill strengthens censorship, restricts freedom of speech, which is the basis of mass media, and legalizes violence against homosexual people."

October, 17, 2011 – Human Rights Watch

Ukraine: Letter to Chairman of Parliament Volodymyr Lytvyn Regarding Proposal for a Bill on Banning "Propaganda of Homosexualism"

His Excellency Volodymyr Mykhailovych Lytvyn,
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
Vul. M. Hrusthevskoho 5
Kiev, 01008

Dear Mr. Lytvyn,

I write to you on behalf of Human Rights Watch, to express our concern over the content of a draft bill currently on the agenda of the Ukrainian Parliament. Human Rights Watch is an independent non-governmental organization dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

On June 22, 2011 a proposal for a bill on banning “propaganda of homosexualism” was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada. The draft bill is called “On introduction of Changes to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine (regarding protection of children’s rights in the safe information sphere)”. The proposal for the bill is a private members initiative by five members of the Ukrainian parliament, representing the block of the Communist Party, the block “Our Ukraine People’s Self-Defense”, the Yulia Tymoshenko block, the block of the Party of Regions, and the block of the “Reforms for the Future”. The draft bill has been put on the agenda to be discussed in Parliament this autumn.

Human Rights Watch urges you to call for the rejection of the Bill on the grounds that it is incompatible with a large number of rights protected by international treaties to which Ukraine is a party. The provisions of the proposed bill would violate the protections on freedom of expression and assembly as well as create an unacceptable environment of state-promoted discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, including those under 18 years of age. It would endanger the rights of human rights defenders to promote rights protections and engage in free discussion about rights principles. It would threaten the health and well-being of Ukrainians, including children, by restricting their access to information necessary for them to make critical decisions about their lives, and could potentially have life-threatening effects by censoring accurate information about HIV and AIDS.

Read complete letter here