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Freedom of expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in Ukraine threatened

Written declaration No. 513 | Doc. 12912 | 10 July 2012

Mr Håkon HAUGLI, Norway, SOC ; Ms Najat ALASTAL, Palestinian National Council ; Ms Karin ANDERSEN, Norway, UEL ; Mr Lennart AXELSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Doris BARNETT, Germany, SOC ; Mr Robert BIEDROŃ, Poland, SOC ; Ms Sílvia Eloïsa BONET PEROT, Andorra, SOC ; Mr Marek BOROWSKI, Poland, SOC ; Lord Tim BOSWELL, United Kingdom, EDG ; Mr Tor BREMER, Norway, SOC ; Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr Paolo CORSINI, Italy, SOC ; Mr Gianni FARINA, Italy, SOC ; Mr Gvozden Srećko FLEGO, Croatia, SOC ; Ms Alena GAJDŮŠKOVÁ, Czech Republic, SOC ; Mr Jean-Charles GARDETTO, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Ms Sylvi GRAHAM, Norway, EPP/CD ; Mr Jonas GUNNARSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Carina HÄGG, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Susanna HUOVINEN, Finland, SOC ; Mr Jean-Paul LECOQ, France, UEL ; Mr Dirk Van der MAELEN, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Liliane MAURY PASQUIER, Switzerland, SOC ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Sonja MIRAKOVSKA, ''The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'', SOC ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Ivan RAČAN, Croatia, SOC ; Ms Mette REISSMANN, Denmark, SOC ; Ms Marlene RUPPRECHT, Germany, SOC ; Mr Ludo SANNEN, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Ingjerd SCHOU, Norway, EPP/CD ; Ms Anette TRETTEBERGSTUEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Nikolaj VILLUMSEN, Denmark, UEL ; Ms Nataša VUČKOVIĆ, Serbia, SOC ; Ms Karin S. WOLDSETH, Norway, EDG

A bill threatening freedom of expression entitled "Prohibition of propaganda of homosexuality aimed at children" has been tabled in Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada. It would prohibit such "propaganda" during demonstrations, in the media and in schools, with fines up to 700 times the minimum monthly wage or prison sentences of up to 5 years.

Objective information is no danger to children. In Alexeyev v. Russia the European Court of Human Rights commented: “There is no scientific evidence or sociological data at the Court's disposal suggesting that the mere mention of homosexuality, or open public debate about sexual minorities' social status, would adversely affect children…”

Furthermore, Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 recommends to member States that, "appropriate measures should be taken … to promote tolerance and respect in schools … This should include providing objective information with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity …"

The bill tabled in Ukraine is an incitement to discrimination. It has no rightful place in a Council of Europe member State. We call upon the members of the Verkhovna Rada to reject it.