Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
There was a marked increase in discrimination, social stigma, and violence against LGBT individuals who experienced discrimination in education, the workplace, and access to medical treatment and to information on the prevention of HIV/AIDS. The government took no significant action to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
During the year parliament approved on the first reading legislation that would restrict the rights of all Ukrainians to advocate for the human rights of LGBT individuals by making it a criminal offense to publish, broadcast, or otherwise distribute so-called “homosexual propaganda.” The bill did not become law. LGBT rights groups expressed concern that lawmakers continued their efforts to pass the bill.
The LGBT rights group Our World (Nash Svit) monitored rights violations against LGBT individuals in selected regions of the country and documented 86 cases of human rights violations, discrimination, and hate-based actions during the year. Violations included physical violence, abuse, threats, property damage, theft, extortion, bullying, workplace discrimination, discrimination in educational settings, and divulging of personal information.
On May 17, approximately 20 men who said they belonged to the Svoboda political party prevented a screening of the LGBT-focused film “Milk” at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. They demanded to see the license that authorized the screening. The screening was legally licensed, but organizers could not immediately produce the document. Fearing for their safety, the organizers acceded to the men’s demand not to show the film. Later, the Svoboda Web site reported that its activists “did not permit the showing” of the film.
On May 20, organizers of a gay pride march were forced to cancel the event after extremist groups engaged in coordinated efforts to stop the march through intimidation and violence, and police stated they would not protect participants if the march went forward. Five masked persons assaulted two event organizers after a press conference announcing the event’s cancellation. A third organizer was attacked and beaten a month later.
In September Our World released a report that analyzed the government’s failure to implement the Council of Europe’s (COE’s) 2010 recommendations for combating LGBT discrimination. According to the report, the authorities took no actions to implement any of the recommendations, collected no information about discrimination based on sexual orientation, and took no steps to combat homophobia and transphobia. The government failed to translate the COE’s recommendations into the national language or disseminate them. The researchers noted that homophobic rhetoric among local authorities and members of the national parliament continued to increase.
On December 8, extremists harassed, attacked, and used tear gas and violence to disperse a peaceful demonstration by LGBT activists and allies in Kyiv. At least two activists were beaten after the demonstration. Several extremists identified themselves as members of the Svoboda political party, which took credit on its Web site for breaking up the demonstration. Six demonstrators and two Svoboda members were detained and fined. A court later fined the protest organizer, Olena Shevchenko, 850 hryvnia ($106) for allegedly failing to notify authorities of the demonstration correctly in spite of the notification she had filed.