Ukraine turns down the Russian-style anti-gay propaganda bill

The relationship between Russia and Ukraine has been very complex following the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimean. Two years ago, when the relations were more cooperative, Ukrainian parliament members were keen to adopt a Russian inspired anti-gay propaganda law. The Ukrainian deputies unanimously voted in favor of the bill introduced by Vadym Kolesnichenko, the ex-MP of Verkhovna Rada, entitled "On the Prohibition of Propaganda of Homosexuality Aimed at Children". If enacted, the proposal would have brought homophobic policies, similar to those in Russia, to the Ukraine.

The situation today looks very different. Ukraine wants nothing to do with Russia - including its anti-gay policies. With the view that homophobia is linked to the "Russian world," such initiatives are unlikely to succeed. Based on Article 95 of the Parliamentary Rules, stating that, "Verkhovna Rada may withdraw the bill from consideration if the bill has lost its relevance," the law was removed from the agenda and will not return for debate.

The anti-gay propaganda law was previously criticized by the European Union during negotiations on the Visa Regime Liberalization for Ukraine. The Ukrainian government agreed to the EU conditions and promised not to adopt the comprehensive discriminatory legislation, including laws pertaining to sexual orientation.

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