Representatives in the Ukrainian parliament have introduced a gay-propaganda ban similar to the one already on the books in Saint Petersburg.
If the legislation passes, “TV shows and movies sympathetically portraying homosexuals, such as Brokeback Mountain will be banned. So will gay pride parades,” reports the AP.
The bill, supported by President Viktor Yanukovych’s representative in parliament, would actually penalize the spread of pro-homosexual “propaganda” with fines and up to five years in prison. But even before the ban has been voted on, homophobic tensions are bubbling over: Two gay-rights activists have been assaulted in the past few months, and the first Pride parade in the Ukraine was canceled in May after threats of violence from anti-gay hooligans.
“Our goal is the preservation of the moral, spiritual and physical health of the nation,” said Pavlo Ungurian, one of the bill’s sponsors. “We must stop the propaganda, the positive description and the publicity … of this abnormal lifestyle.”
The United Nations Development Program called the ban is “state-supported discrimination” against the LGBT community and claimed it could exacerbate the spread of AIDS in the region. Hopefully the European Union will take a similarly hard line as Ukraine works to join its ranks.