President Zelensky to look into legalising same-sex marriage in Ukraine as war rages on

President Zelensky to look into legalising same-sex marriage in Ukraine as war rages on
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The legalisation of same-sex marriage in Ukraine is a step closer with a petition reaching 28k signatures, which means President Volodymyr Zelensky must respond within 10 days. 


With the Russia-Ukraine war seemingly nowhere near ending and civilian casualties growing by the day, the business of every day governance can seem a million miles away.

However, seeing as LGBTQ+ marriage isn’t recognised, it means that gay couples fighting for their country’s freedom don’t have the same rights as partners in a straight relationship when it comes to even the most tragic of things like retrieving a partner’s body should they be injured or killed in action. 

Homosexuality is not illegal in Ukraine, but same-sex marriages and civil partnerships are not recognised.


“At this point in time, every day can be the last. Let people of the same sex get the opportunity to start a family and have an official document to prove it. They need the same rights as traditional couples,” the petition, created in June, reads.

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Kyiv Pride, 2019. Image: Siarhei Liudkevich/ Shutterstock

The Kyiv Pride media communications manager, Oksana Solonska, said: “It is important that LGBTQ people have the right to see their partner and take their body from the morgue, and seek compensation if needed.

“All married couples have these rights. We really hope that same-sex marriage will be legalised, so people will be able to take care of each other.”


In Ukraine, if a petition gets the 28k signatures required then the President will look into the request and seeing as this is a matter of human rights, at a time all eyes are on Zelensky and his regime, it seems likely that he might effect a change in the law, especially seeing as they are applying to the EU at the same time as fending off the brutal attacks of Putin’s army.  


Attitudes towards homosexuality have changed a lot in recent years in Ukraine, with numbers attending Pride steadily increasing year on year and, according to a poll conducted in May by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, the number of people who have a “negative view” of the LGBTQ+ community has plummeted from 60.4% to 38.2%in the last 6 years.


The first Kiev Pride was held in 2013 and its popularity has grown steadily, despite numerous violent oppositions. 


In 2018, activists were attacked by far-right militants during a Kyiv transgender rally.

Activists are treated by paramedics after far-right protesters threw smoke bombs into the crowd in 2018. EPA via BBC

The war has now permanently changed the country, galvanising the people across the nation as they fight a common enemy.


How this will affect attitudes toward the queer community remains to be seen but seeing as LBGTQ+ people have fought alongside their fellow Ukrainians, it’s quite possible that things might have changed a lot. 


View the petition here

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