New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the European Union to urge the Ukranian government to end their “abuses” against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens in the Eastern European country. Their statement, published on Thursday, comes ahead of an EU summit in Brussels later this month.
HRW and 23 other groups signed the letter, including 22 Ukrainian nongovernmental organizations, and Equal Rights Trust, calling on the EU to speak out against “homophobic bills” currently pending in Ukraine’s parliament and “to condemn attacks against LGBT activists.”
“These homophobic bills are unacceptable for a country that aspires to deeper relations with the European Union,” said Anna Kirey, Finberg fellow at Human Rights Watch.
“The EU should state clearly at the summit that discrimination against LGBT people has no place in the EU neighborhood.”
The two “homosexual propaganda” bills are scheduled to be discussed by Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, during its current session.
HRW said the bills would, among other things, “ban the production, publication, or distribution of materials ‘promoting’ homosexuality.”
Those found infringing the potential legislation could face fines and up to five years in prison.