After an international outcry, the Ukrainian parliament has cancelled at the last-minute a vote on legislation that would ban any Ukrainian citizen from speaking out favorably about homosexuality much like the draconian “gay propaganda law” that was recently passed in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Law 8711 would have made it illegal to “spread homosexuality” by “holding meetings, parades, actions, demonstrations and mass events aiming at intentional distribution of any positive information about homosexuality” and impose heavy fines and up to five years imprisonment.
Key European governments, the European Parliament and even Sir Elton John denounced the law, with the governments of Ireland and Argentina issuing statements as late as Thursday. The United States, while not part of the European Union did not comment on the law.
According to Andre Banks, co-founder and executive director of AllOut.org. “More than 120,000 All Out members spoke out against this horrendous legislation and pushed it to the top of Europe’s diplomatic agenda. The message of our growing global movement is simple – everyone should be able to live openly and love who they choose. That call has been echoed by the European diplomatic community who played a critical role in blocking the progress of the gay gag law. Above all, this is a victory for our partners in Ukraine. Together we are sending a strong message to the other governments of Eastern Europe.”
The move to cancel the bill is seen as a huge victory for its opponents and leaves only a small window in September for it to be reconsidered before the dissolution of the current sitting Ukrainian Parliament.
The Ukraine is currently attempting to join the European Union. The EU’s human rights standards would expressly clash with Law 8711.