The Exploratory Paper
ENG 113 Academic Writing
6 March 2013
Homosexual Propagation in Ukraine
Ukraine is a post-Soviet country; therefore, many Soviet-style values and beliefs still exist in Ukrainians’ minds. Ukraine still shows negative about promotion of gays as it was in Soviet Union. In 2012, Ukraine faced the problem of homosexuality propaganda. Because homosexual couples became very visible, the issue of how to relate to homosexuals propagation became urgent in the society. This issue has influenced not only Ukrainian government and population, gays but also European Union. Ukrainian Parliament presented a bill against promotion of homosexual relationships which is supported even by the president’s representative. The law bans “propaganda of homosexuality,” which is defined as a positive attitude to gays in public (The Associated Press, 2012). Some politicians proposed to confirm the anti-gay law 8711 where the Ukrainian government wants to prison people up to five years for any positive public depiction of homosexuality. In addition, this bill would ban such events as gay pride parades or TV dating shows for same-sex couples. An author of the Ukrainian bill, Pavlo Ungurian, stated that the bill would help to protect "the moral, spiritual, and physical health of the nation," while Ruslan Kukharchuk, a campaigner for the bill and the leader of the "Love Against Homosexuality" group, named a homosexuality "a disease ... a psychological disorder," and such people should get "rehabilitation therapy" (Druker, Boissevain, Caloianu, Persio 2012). Ukrainian political branch is strain because there are many powers that shows negative attitude towards homosexual propagation. This conflict made the Ukrainian population to split into supporters and fighters against gay promotion. Statistics shows that only 3% of Ukrainians have quite positive attitude to sexual minorities, 10% have rather positive, 14.5% - rather negative, and 57.5% - entirely negative (Stern, 2012). In the article “Tajik Fighting Ends, Ukraine Gets on Anti-Gay Bandwagon” it is reported that people who participated in a march last May in Kyiv promoted the traditional family and protested against homosexuals’ rights with a slogan “Homosexuality – No.” People in Ukraine do not want to accept homosexuals in society. As a result, they might do some protests where they express what the feel and think. The way people show their attitude to gays and the words or physical power they use is unethical in some cases. There were situations in Ukraine when homosexuals were beaten by citizens just because they promote nontraditional sexual orientation. For instance, masked assailants kicked and jumped on Svyatoslav Sheremet, the head of Gay Forum of Ukraine. A month later, unknown muggers assaulted Taras Karasiychuk, another of the parade investors, on the street as he was coming home at night (Stern, 2012). These cases show the cruelty of some anti-gay supporters. Ukrainian homosexuals fight for their rights. They ask for help and support for lesbian and gay organizations. Because of the new law, they need a protection because anti-gay movements became very cruel. Homosexuals do not think that propagation of nontraditional orientation can harm Ukrainians population (Danilova, 2012). They ask to provide civil liberties and equity for the sexual minorities. In spring 2012, Ukraine was supposed to have a pride parade, but because of the mass riots against homosexual demonstrations, organizers decided not to conduct it (The Associated Press, 2012). Homosexuals need social comfort because they feel eradication of the prejudiced and stigmatic attitude. Even though they might not promote homosexuality, they still will be treated as those who propagate it. Svyatoslav Sheremet, who leads Ukraine's Gay Forum, said, “Eventually, society comes to realize that one can only live peacefully when one is tolerant” (Danilova, 2012). Homosexuals feel themselves unsafely and prejudiced in Ukraine, and they want people to be kinder to them. The next perspective of this issue belongs to the European Union that shows its disappointment in Ukraine because of the anti-gay law. For Europe people should be treated equally no matter what sexual orientation a person demonstrates. According to Reid-Smith’s article “Europe May Punish Ukraine for Gay Censorship Law,” European Union may put new visa rules to punish Ukraine if it confirms law plan against homosexual propaganda. Of course, it will be harder for Ukrainians to have an access to Europe. The draft anti-gay law creates hostility between Ukraine and European Union. The United Nations Human Rights Committee insisted that such law could not exist with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that Ukraine approved (Intergroup on LGBT Rights, 2012). The European Union does not discriminate homosexual propagation, and if Ukraine accepts the law against it, than the results will be noxious for the Ukrainian population. Many homosexuals nowadays feel themselves uncomfortable because they cannot be accepted in the Ukrainian culture. Lots of them feel they are not treated in the same way as heterosexuals are viewed. Many Ukrainians began arguing whether homosexual propagation can exist in Ukraine or not. Lots of people were raised in families where traditional relationships were encouraged, and for them it is very hard to accept gays’ demonstrations. Based on previous political power in Ukraine, the government does not want to accept homosexual supporters in the country. Moreover, this issue forced the European Union to be involved. Indeed, Ukraine has had strain relationship with Europe, and now it can become worse. European Union wants Ukraine government to be loyal to homosexual propagation. There can be some limits for demonstrations, but it is unethical to prison those who promote them, as a Ukrainian government wants to do. Ukrainian Parliament should think about European Commission’s reaction. The Parliament should realize all the pros and cons of the 8711 law for the Ukrainian future.
Danilova, M. (2012, Jul 18). Leaders of Ukraine's gay community say intolerance, and violence against homosexuals on rise. Yahoo! News. Retrieved from http://news.yahoo.com/leaders-ukraines-gay-community-intolerance-violence-against-homosexuals-173017972.html Druker, J., Boissevain, J., Caloianu, I., & Persio, S. (2012, July 26). Tajik fighting ends, Ukraine gets on anti-gay bandwagon. Transitions Online, 4. Intergroup on LGBT Rights. (2012, December). European Commission: Ukraine’s anti-gay law obstacle to visa-free travel. Retrieved from http://www.lgbt-ep.eu/press-releases/european-commission-ukraines-bill-8711-obstacle-to-eu-ukraine-visa-agreement/ Reid-Smith, T. (2012, October). Europe may punish Ukraine for gay censorship law. Gay Star News. Retrieved from http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/europe-may-punish-ukraine-gay-censorship-law031012 Stern, D. (2012, October). Ukraine takes aim against 'gay