On November 6 at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine hearings on the topic: “The visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU: Prospects and opportunities for the citizens of Ukraine” held. As a part of the hearing state officials, MPs, representatives of civil society made speeches. The question of adopting a comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation has become acute.
The 17th speaker in the hearing list was Bogdan Globa, Executive Director of the All-Ukrainian Charitable Organization "Fulcrum". He, in particular, drew the attention of the audience to the fact that, having been adopted in September 2012, the draft law on anti-discrimination in Ukraine has significant shortcomings and needs improving. He designated the lack of "sexual orientation" in the list of signs on which discrimination is prohibited as one of its key drawbacks.
We need to finally realize that homosexual citizens of Ukraine are in need of effective mechanism of protection against discrimination. And the appropriate legal mechanisms are neither something extraordinary nor a unique requirement of the EU to Ukraine. All the countries which are about to obtain membership in the EU or sign contracts for the association have to meet the requirement for the implementing a comprehensive antidiscrimination legislation. The relevant laws have been adopted by all the countries of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, including our neighbors: Poland – 2011, Moldova – 2012, Bulgaria – 2001, Serbia – 2009, Albania – 2010, etc..
“It is surprising in this situation that Ukraine has ratified two international conventions and one intergovernmental agreement protecting certain groups from discrimination based on sexual orientation, but at the same time, the parliament is not ready to vote for the necessary changes to the profile law,” said Bogdan Globa.
In general, the hearing took place under the keynote of “sexual orientation.” Most of the speakers agreed with the thesis of necessity to adopt a comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation including the grounds of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
The Executive Director of the “Fulcrum” concluded his speech with personal facts. In particular, he said: “Being an open gay at the age of 16, I went through all kinds of discrimination: I was bullied and abused in school, I was beaten and chased by older guys, I got driven from my own family because the parents thought that I was ill. [Editor’s note: His mother’s views have since changed, and now she supports him and loves him as he is. It did not stop at that: she now heads "Tergo" - an initiative of parents of LGBT children, to protect their children’s rights]. I found the strength and courage to go through it, and today I use every opportunity to openly and honestly say to you about it. Unfortunately, a lot of young guys and girls do not find the strength to fight in the Ukrainian reality, and these stories may end with tragedies.”
“Dear MPs, my today’s main appeal to you is: when you vote for the bill introducing the mechanism of non-discrimination on the grounds of “sexual orientation” you have to understand that the implementation of the EU demand is not simply a requirement of the European Commission, it is lives of young guys like me. And this is our chance to live in our country a safe and happy life despite our sexual orientation. Let’s build a society in which certain minorities won’t be suppressed and everyone will feel equal.”
We can say that a historic event occurred in Ukraine – for the first time the open gay made his speech from the parliamentary rostrum of the Verkhovna Rada. Interestingly, the hall was mostly filled with students who positively greeted this speech with enthusiastic applauses and absence of any adverse reactions. We sincerely believe that this is only the beginning of LGBT rights establishment in Ukraine.
You can also view performance Bogdan Globa the show Shuster-Live
By Tymur Levchuk