Ukrainian Court Cancels Gay Pride March

Ukrainian beating

A court in Kiev, Ukraine has cancelled a gay pride march scheduled for Saturday, citing concerns from city authorities that the demonstration could incite violence.  Reuters reports:

A Kiev court on Thursday banned what would have been Ukraine's first gay pride event after city authorities raised security concerns.

There is little public acceptance of homosexuality in predominantly Orthodox Ukraine, as in other former Soviet republics; last week, large crowds of protesters broke up gay rights rallies in Georgia and Russia.

A spokeswoman for the organizers of Saturday's Equality March, who declined to be named for fear of reprisals, said activists would find another way to express "our protest, our view on what is going on with human rights in Ukraine".

Last year, a similar demonstration cancelled at the last minute when skinheads massed at the march's predetermined location, intent on menacing participants.  Svyatoslav Sheremet, who leads the Gay Forum of Ukraine, was attacked by anti-gay protesters following the cancellation, and the beating was captured on film by a Reuters photographer (see above).

A majority of Ukraine's population belongs to the Orthodox Church, a staunch opponent of LGBT equality.  According to The Guardian, a small pride rally held last week in Georgia was broken up by a mob that included Orthodox priests.

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 2.45.56 PMThis weekend, Amnesty International published a report condemning what it described as "endemic discrimination" by the Ukrainian government and the public at large toward LGBT individuals:

Amnesty International has documented several violent attacks against LGBTI people, some carried out by public officials, and some by members of the public. In some cases such attacks have resulted in death. Yet the authorities fail to investigate these crimes promptly, thoroughly, effectively and impartially, and, moreover, fuel the pervasive negative stereotypes about LGBTI people in Ukrainian society which underpin the attacks. 

In a statement protesting the cancellation, Human Rights Watch LGBT rights advocacy director Boris Dittrich said, "Banning the Kiev Equality March would send all the wrong signals to those seeking to prevent or obstruct it.  Authorities should show political leadership and make it clear they won’t let hateful rhetoric, threats of violence, and bullying tactics dictate their policies."  HRW will have two observers on the ground in Kiev this Saturday to monitor the situation.



  1. PE says

    Is the Ukraine where most of the foreskin gay-porn come from ? I’m surprised that Ukraine is a homophobic state.

  2. LetSodomRing says

    No, PE, you ignoramus. Porn isn’t even legal in Ukraine, you clod. And no, you cannot infer a society’s attitude and political atmosphere from imported porn, you dunce.

  3. PE says

    LetSodomRing, Google Ukraine cocks on image search and set some money aside for ex-gay therapy.

  4. Tone says

    Authorities there could ensure the safety of an LGBT parade if they wanted to. Clearly there is no will to do so. There is no will to ensure the safety of *all* of their citizens. Ukraine was not likely to ever be on my list of holiday destinations anyway.

  5. Albert says

    Once again, the (Orthodox) Church is at the forefront of the anti-gay forces in these countries. That’s why LGBT rights protesters really have to be commended and supported for taking their lives in their hands by speaking out.

    By the way, it’s interesting that the comments thus far have not taken the racist tilt that would have ensued if the story had been about an African or Caribbean country.

  6. Pete N SFO says

    When women were being raped in Israel, the men in gov’t tried to pass a curfew & Golda Meir, I believe, pointed out that no women were raping anyone, so why are they subjected to that law.

    Obviously, the prejudice is gov’t endorsed.

  7. andrew says

    @PE: Your response to LetSodomRing, who called you an ignoramous, clod and dunce, was way too gentle. An A$$HOLE like that needs to be hit back hard, so that he learns some manners.

  8. Mike B. says

    man, f*** the Orthodox church. sadly, the influence of extremism and fearmongering (church staples if I anything is) increases during economic downturns.

  9. DannyEastVillage says

    Uh, PE, do you think the presence of foreskin is somehow a marker of gay acceptance?

    do you have a brain anywhere near the two hands on your keyboard?

  10. DannyEastVillage says

    @ Mike B: the Orthodox church is not just a storehouse for the extremism and fear-mongering you refer to: it also served as a safe hiding place for the anti-Semitism that runs rampant through formerly Soviet society. In fact, the Orthodox clergy seem still to feed on it. Here in New York I’ve been unable to avoid noticing that when Russian and Ukrainian people in my acquaintance (including, yes, some very hot gay men) say the words “Jew” or “Jewish” they lower their voices as if mentioning something that ought to be referred to only in hushed tones – as if it were reprehensible or shameful. In terms of social attitudes those parts of the world have a long way to go. They are NOT like Western Europe in some important ways.

  11. ratbastard says

    Sorry if this offends. Much of Eastern Europe is only semi-civilized. Most of this has to do not with the church but the long periods of totalitarian rule, rightwing to leftwing, rinse, repeat. the communist and fascist really did a number on these societies and are primarily responsible for their social retardation. Let it be a warning to all.

  12. ratbastard says


    I hear what you’re saying and agree 100%. I’ve had similar observations, and I’m not Jewish, so things that are maybe not said in front of a Jewish person are said in front of me. Growing up, my grand aunt, who would have been a teenage girl at the time, told me stories about when she first came to America at the outbreak of WW2. Her family sent her from England alone to live with a relative in America. She lived in NYC and worked for wealthy people as a nanny. She worked for some well known people. They were all virulently antisemitic. She didn’t understand because she was unfamiliar with such a level of antisemitism. Not just eastern Europe, but all of Europe, America, Canada, etc., there was widespread and perfectly acceptable antisemitism, especially among the wealthy and elite classes at this time. Fast forward to today. North American and western European societies have EVOLVED. The societies of Eastern Europe which lived so long under both fascist and Marxist communist rule, didn’t. You’ll see the same situation when Cuba finally becomes free of Castro,Inc. It’s sad. Generations lost.

  13. ratbastard says

    Another issue with many Eastern Europeans, Danny, is many blame Jews for communism and Marxism. This is a very widespread belief in most of Eastern Europe, ESPECIALLY Ukraine.

  14. Dna Cobbb says

    Everything in Europe east of the Czech Republic is pretty primitive. The further east you go, the more primitive it gets.