First ever: Open gay man speaks in Ukraine’s Parliament

08.11.2013 | cb — No comments

Kyiv, 8th of November 2013 – On November 6, at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, hearings were held on the topic: “The visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU: Prospects and opportunities for the citizens of Ukraine”. As a part of the hearing, state officials, MPs and representatives of the civil society made speeches. The question of adopting a comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation has become acute.

Bogdan Globa

Bogdan Globa, leading the LGBT-organisation Fulcrum, has his own story of discrimination.

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 mechanisms 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 implementing a comprehensive antidiscrimination legislation”, he stated. The relevant laws have been adopted by all the countries of Eastern Europe and the Balkans including Ukraine’s neighbors: Poland in 2011, Moldova in 2012, Bulgaria in 2001, Serbia in 2009 and Albania in 2010.

“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.

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 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. 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.”

He continued: “Dear MPs, my today’s main appeal to you is: “hen 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 an open gay man 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.

(LGBT Portal Ukraine)

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