By Gudrun Schultz

  KIEV, Ukraine, February 14, 2007 ( – Homosexual activist organizations have accused Ukrainian politician Leonid Grach of attacking homosexual people, for comments he made criticizing homosexuality in November 2006.

  Communist Deputy Grach, 58, is the chair of the Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and International Relations of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament).  Speaking in an interview last fall, Grach said homosexuality “is an anomaly, which is caused by the amorality and the depravity of man.”

  He also said the present Parliament would not vote for legislation permitting same-sex unions and homosexual adoption, and said the next Parliament would not need to address the issue at all.

  Homosexual and lesbian Ukrainian groups, led by the Nash Mir Gay and Lesbian Centre, were reportedly outraged by the comments, sending letters to Mr. Grach to demand that he support and protect homosexual rights.

  Mr. Grach spoke out against homosexuality again last week, however, saying, “I, and my colleagues in Parliament, have to defend society from intrusions upon morality.”

“We must not admit into the consciousness – and souls – of people of any age the thought that the State is on the side of the people who are sowing debauchery, propagandising for depravity, for sexual permissiveness, and for bringing the abomination of seduction into society.

“The State must protect society from an evil, from violence, including such evil as homosexuality, lesbianism and suchlike others,” he said.

  Ukrainians must observe the norms of “moral cleanliness, bequeathed to us from ancient times by orthodox ancestors.”

  While homosexuality was decriminalized in the Ukraine in 1991, there is little support for legal recognition of same-sex couples in the strongly Orthodox country. Liberal estimates find 85 percent of the population would not support legal homosexual unions.