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Ukraine to review legalising gay marriage after petition reaches 28,000 signatures

President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to consider the proposal in the next 10 days.

By Emily Maskell

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Wiki Commons

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to consider calls for same-sex marriage to be legalised after an online petition hit 28,000 signatures.

Any petition in the country to garner more than 25,000 signatures requires consideration from the sitting president. Zelensky has to respond within 10 days, which would be 23 July. 

The petition’s description reads: “At this 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,” the statement continues. “They need the same rights as traditional couples.”

While homosexuality is not illegal in Ukraine, same-sex marriage and civil partnerships are not recognised.

This lack of state recognition leads to challenges arising for LGBTQ+ couples; most recently, following the invasion from Russia, someone in a same-sex relationship is unable to collect or bury their partner’s body under Ukrainian law.

“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,” Oksana Solonska, media communications manager at Kyiv Pride, told the BBC.

She added: ”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.”

However, Zelensky’s consideration does not guarantee the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

In Ukraine, there have been some efforts to impose anti-discrimination laws, like the 2015 legislation introduced to stamp out workplace discrimination.

But attacks such as that on the 2018 Kyiv transgender rally demonstrate the homophobia and violence that remains.

The Attitude July/August issue is out now.