21% of Ukrainians Believe That LGBT Rights Don’t Deserve Legal Protection*

commented by Inga Pylypchuk

Poorest nation, richest nation (Issue III+IV/2018)

Because the poll also says that 56 percent of Ukrainians would welcome equal rights for gays and lesbians. And that is not something you can take for granted in a country where, for years under Soviet rule, female homosexuality was seen as an illness and male homosexuality considered a crime.  

Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1991 but it still took more than 25 years before Ukraine’s LGBT community could openly and more aggressively demand equal rights. Thanks to the Maidan Revolution, a debate about values began that also had an impact on this topic. For example, in 2015 only 200 people turned up to the Gay Pride parade in Kiev - but in 2018, there were more than 5,000. That included many heterosexuals who simply supported the idea of equal rights.

At the same time, this drew ideological differences into sharper focus. Gays and lesbians were suddenly more visible and therefore more vulnerable; there were multiple attacks by nationalistic groups. Today many in the mainstream obviously think that LGBT individuals can do what they want, but only as long as they don’t show themselves publicly. This form of homophobia is most common among that 21 percent. 

*Source: German Federal Agency for Civic Education, Dossier Ukraine

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