KIEV, July 24, 2012 ( – Ukraine parliamentarians have re-submitted a bill to outlaw the promotion of homosexuality in public, and the homosexualist movement around the world, and their supporters in the mainstream media, have erupted in outrage.

The bill’s sponsor said that the growing acceptance of homosexuality in the West was “not evolution, but degradation”. It would ban the promotion of homosexuality in television shows and movies, as well as prohibit public “Gay Pride” events.

It is intended to preserve “the moral, spiritual and physical health of the nation” according to co-author MP Pavlo Ungurian, speaking at a news conference Monday. “We are not against homosexuals, however, we do not share their values,” he said.

“Our goal is the preservation of the moral, spiritual and physical health of the nation,” Ungurian said. “We must stop the propaganda, the positive description and the publicity … of this abnormal lifestyle.”

The bill is thought to be supported by President Viktor Yanukovych, whose parliamentary representative, Yuri Meroshnichenko is publicly supporting it. It follows a decision by authorities this year to cancel the “Gay Pride” events in Kiev after fears of violence.

Homosexualist groups have issued media releases condemning the move and have been quoted widely in the international media. The Brussels-based group ILGA Europe has called it an “attack” and a “throwback to the Middle Ages”.

Anastasia Zhivkova, an ILGA spokesman and gay rights activist, said the legislation amounted to “state-supported discrimination.”

“A great part of our life remains in the shadows,” Zhivkova said. “All the time you balance between being an outcast or a criminal.”

Polls bear out the claim by activists that homosexual behaviour is not widely accepted in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet nations. A 2007 survey by Angus Reid Global Monitor found that 81.3 per cent of Ukrainians believe that homosexual relations are “never acceptable,” 13 per cent say it is only “sometimes acceptable” and only 5.7 per cent call it “acceptable”.

“Gay Pride” events, including a parade, have been held in Kiev since 2003, but last year a counter-demonstration resulted in the parade being interrupted. A coalition of Christian groups, including the Catholic and Orthodox Churches as well as smaller groups like the Seventh Day Adventists and Baptists called on the government to prohibit the demonstrations.

Among the co-sponsors of the bill are the MP of the Communist Party faction Yevhen Tsarkov, the MP of the Party of Regions faction Yulia Kovalevska, the MP of the NU-NS Party faction Kateryna Lukyanova, the member of the Reforms for the Future parliamentary group Taras Chornovil.

A leader of the group Love Against Homosexuality, Kiev journalist Ruslan Kukharchuk, told media that the bill does not intend to restrict the right of the media to freedom of speech. “When it comes to gay parades, the claims will be advanced against the organizers of such events first, not against the journalists who cover them,” he said. 100,000 signatures were collected from the public supporting the bill.

“Today, on the eve of elections, we appeal to political forces, so they clearly declare their position on this issue,” Kukharchuk said.

Kukharchuk started his opposition to the promotion of homosexuality in 2003 by shutting down a parade by lesbians in Kiev. His group holds that homosexuality is a mental disorder and that sufferers should be offered psychological help. In an interview, he said that “deviance is bad for national security” and that it has contributed to the spread of HIV/AIDS.

“…It contributes to the demographic crisis in Europe” and “undermines the family, and families, traditional families, form the basis of any nation. Without family, a nation ceases to exist.”

Speaking to Natalia Antonova of Global Comment in 2009, Kukharchuk warned against the gains of the homosexualist political movement that he said are imposing a “dictatorship of their ideas”.

“Read the news. Everywhere you look in the West, somebody’s getting disgraced because they said something against gays. Well, excuse me, it shouldn’t work like that. I should be able to say whatever I want. It’s how democracy should work.”