Via Florida’s local ABC affiliate
Members of a Ukrainian refugee family appeared in a South Florida courtroom on Wednesday. That’s where they are facing hate crime and attempted murder charges for an alleged family ambush against a gay man. Police say Oleh Makarenko was in a nine-month homosexual relationship, which would end with his lover being beaten so badly by Makarenko’s family that the victim became blind. Authorities allege that Oleh Makarenko, who is also known as Alex, was being forced to marry a woman by his mother. On Aug. 6, three members of the Makarenko family barged into the victims home, according to police. A police report stated that, “All four of the suspects continued holding him and began punching, kicking, and hitting him all over his face and body.”
While in the war between Russia and the Ukraine we are all hoping that the Ukraine wins. But the Ukraine, like Russia is a very dangerous place to be LGBT.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union and Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the Ukrainian LGBT community has gradually become more visible and more organized politically. But it is still a place of extreme prejudice thanks to the Eastern Orthodox Church, which has a significant influence on the perception by society of members of the LGBT community.