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LGBT UKRAINESince the fall of the USSR and Ukraine's independence in 1991, the Ukrainian LGBT+ community has become increasingly visible, better organised politically, and organising several LGBT events though some of these have been blighted by violent attacks by nationalist groups.

Same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults (in private) is legal in Ukraine. However, the climate generally is intolerant of LGBT people and same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to their heterosexual counterparts, for example. In June 2018, the Ukraine justice ministry said that there are no legal grounds in Ukraine currently for same-sex marriage. Also, adoption is illegal while conversion therapy is not banned. Ironically though, it is legal to serve in the military.

Summarising its 2021 review, ILGA says that anti-LGBT hate speech and hate crimes continued to be a severe issue though the Ministry of the Interior finally introduced a bill in May to criminalise hate crimes committed on the grounds of, inter alia (among other things), “sexual orientation and gender identity.” A survey found that 80% of LGBT students feel unsafe in school and 87% feel excluded. Just in the month preceding the survey, 40% of LGBT students missed school because they feared for their safety. Several events and demonstrations were disturbed and attacked again this year. In May, extremists raided an LGBT+ film screening, broke windows and threw tear gas into the premises. Other events were also attacked in Kyiv and Odesa. Far-right members of Tradition and Order threw bottles and held a counter-demonstration against the LGBTQ+ rave on 4 August in Kyiv.

However, there have been a few steps forward:

  • In February, the Public Health Centre of the Ministry of Health opened a tender for research into behaviours of ‘homosexual’ and bisexual men to inform HIV prevention programmes
  • In April, the Ministry of Health removed blood donation restrictions on people “who have homosexual contacts”. The new regulations focus on ‘risky behaviour’ instead of risk groups
  • In November, the Ministry of Health agreed to continue cooperation to improve trans healthcare as part of efforts to implement ICD-11 (International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision. The global standard for diagnostic health information)

LGBT rights in Ukraine | Wikipedia
LGBT rights in Ukraine | Equaldex
Ukraine | ILGA Europe (Review: Jan-Dec 2021)
Ukraine | Rainbow Europe

“Nash Mir” (Our World) Gay and Lesbian Centre

Selection of news and articles

KyivPride: Thousands march in Ukraine Pride in Liverpool | BBC News | 29 Jul 2023
War brings urgency to fight for LGBT rights in Ukraine | The Guardian | 5 Jun 2023
Eurovision 2023: Contest inspires Ukraine's LGBT troops | BBC News | 20 Apr 2023
A safe house in Poland offers LGBTQ Ukrainians sanctuary from Russian bombs | Insider | 29 Mar 2022
‘I will not be held prisoner’: the trans women turned back at Ukraine’s borders | The Guardian | 22 Mar 2022
Gay rights activist among latest known victims of Ukraine war | The Guardian | 18 Mar 2022
Derbyshire couple offer home to Ukrainian LGBT refugees | BBC News | 16 Mar 2022
Gay dating app asks users to help Ukrainians and is blown away by response | Queerty* | 4 Mar 2022
Ukrainian queer teen explains why he won’t flee despite terrifying war: ‘I want to be free’ | Pink News | 1 Mar 2022
 Russian soldiers captured after being found hiding in basement by Ukraine LGBT+ activists | Pink News | 1 Mar 2022
 Ruthless warlord who led 'gay purges' in Chechnya killed fighting for Russia in Ukraine | The Mirror | 1 Mar 2022
 Ukrainian LGBTQ activists fought & captured a group of Russian soldiers | LGBTQ Nation | 28 Feb 2022
 LGBT+ rights and issues in Europe | House of Commons Library | 28 Feb 2022
LGBT Activists Capture Hiding Russian Soldiers | Star Observer (Australia) | 28 Feb 2022
 LGBT rights in eastern Europe: explaining financial benefits makes a big difference to people’s views – new findings | The Conversation | 9 Feb 2022
 LGBT+ Ukrainians are ready to fight for their freedom if Russia invades: ‘We love our country’ | Pink News | 29 Jan 2022

Thousands March For LGBT Rights In Ukraine | Radio Free Europe | 19 Sep 2021
President of Ukraine vows to fight for LGBT+ equality after Joe Biden meeting | Pink News | 2 Sep 2021
Protecting LGBT people against hate crimes in Ukraine | Council of Europe | 22 Feb 2021
Ukraine's LGBT+ war veterans boost battle for equality | Reuters | 17 Feb 2020

Ukraine’s first-ever LGBT shelter forced to close after running out of money | Pink News | 19 Oct 2019
Former volunteer Ukrainian soldier challenges LGBT taboos | BBC News | 17 Jan 2019

 Situation of LGBT People in Ukraine | LGBT Human Rights NASH MIR Center | 2013

A study of the world’s most popular countries for LGBTQ+ travel reveals the good, the average and the ugly | Asher & Lyric
Travel writing, research, TV, radio, and podcast interviews. Ranked 81, Ukraine scores a D+

Problems ahead for LGBT+ Ukrainians if Russia invades | VOA News | 12 Feb 2022 | 3m 17s
What Ukrainians think about LGBT? | 13 Oct 2019 | 4m 19s
Ukraine hosts largest ever gay pride parade | Euro News | 23 Jun 2019 | 45s
Same sex unions in Ukraine | UATV English | 22 Jun 2019 | 2m 17s
Ukrainian soldier: 'I couldn't say I was gay' | BBC News | 18 Jan 2019 | 1m 50s
Ukraine travel safety tips - war, racism, sexism, LGBT+ | Alina Mcleod | 19 Nov 2018 | 12m 58s

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