Ukraine Steps Back from “Gay Gag Rule”
All Out, the international LGBT-equality organization, reported July 6 that the Ukrainian Parliament moved to shelved the proposed Law 8711, which would have ''made it illegal to 'spread homosexuality' by 'holding meetings, parades, actions, demonstrations and mass events aiming at intentional distribution of any positive information about homosexuality' and impose penalties of fines and up to five years imprisonment.''
All Out credited the move on the bill, dubbed the ''Gay Gag Rule,'' to activist efforts to draw attention to the legislation – particularly its own petition drive that netted more than 120,000 signatures.
In a release announcing the move, All Out cofounder and Executive Director Andre Banks said, ''The message of our growing global movement is simple – everyone should be able to live openly and love who they choose. That call has been echoed by the European diplomatic community, who played a critical role in blocking progress of the gay gag law. Above all, this is a victory for our partners in the Ukraine. Together we are sending a strong message to the other governments of Eastern Europe. Support for anti-gay laws embolden extremists at the expense of lucrative European ambitions.''
All Out pointed to two Ukrainian groups, Insight NGO and Fulcrum, as its partners in this effort.
Worldpride Marks a 40-Year UK Anniversary
The July 6 WorldPride celebration in London was also the 40-year anniversary of Britain's first gay pride march, held in July 1972. The well-known London-based LGBT-rights activist, Peter Tatchell, reflected on that anniversary in a statement released by the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
''Over the last four decades, Gay Pride has grown from one march with less than a thousand people to two dozen nationwide parades with combined attendance of hundreds of thousands of people,'' he said, in part. ''But there are still prejudices to overcome, such as homophobic bullying in schools, the ban on same-sex marriage and the refusal of asylum to LGBT refugees fleeing persecution in violently homophobic countries like Iran, Jamaica, Cameroon and Uganda. According to the British Social Attitudes survey, 36 percent of the public still believe that homosexuality is mostly or always wrong. That's why, 40 years after the first march, we still need Gay Pride.''