Communist sponsored homophobia?July 20, 2012
Law 8711 was proposed back in June, written by Yevhen Tsarkov of the Communist Party and supported by Catherine Lukyanov, Lilia Grigorovych, both OU-PSD deputies and Paul Unguryan BYuT from Ms Tymoshenko’s block, as well as Julia Korolevskaya of the ruling majority Party of Regions.
Law 8711 is intended to ban the promotion of homosexuality, thus banning parades, propaganda and actions, thus forcing media and TV censorship, making illegal demonstrations, and mass events that may put homosexuality in a positive light. The undercurrent is that a positive image of homosexuality is a national security threat and it was also necessary to insure the protection of children from such information. – Hmm!
Needless to say, not a law that would endear Ukraine to the EU and thus has been left to gather dust rather than take up RADA time – for now anyway.
That is not to say it won’t reappear, particularly as it has cross-party support as I have detailed above. Of course this law goes against some of the most basic principles of democracy, such as freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, but neither the Party of Regions or indeed Tymoshenko’s BYuT are particularly democratic or positive advocates for human rights, despite their claims otherwise.
That is not to say all Ukrainian politicians are homophobic. Equally spread across party lines is a great deal of empathy for the homosexual community. MPs such as Yuri Stets OU-PSD, Yuriy Liovochkin Party of Regions and Vitali Klitschko leader of UDAR Party are all deemed friendly to the homosexual cause.
The fact law 8711 has been left to gather dust is possibly a good sign, however, Communist MP Tsarkov is not prepared to let a sleeping dog remain a sleeping dog. He is now trying to add, what can best be described as a clause that is a hangover from the days of Stalin, to the Criminal Code, relating to sodomy and homosexual male sex.
One can only assume that in being so specific relating to sodomy, it would remain quite OK for anal sex with a woman. Heterosexual men and women of Ukraine who like anal sex rejoice. To be crude, any hole remains a goal as far as you would be concerned.
Now I have often taken issue with the far right and the Svoboda Party in this blog. I have no love for the fascist ideology on the whole. This time I have to take issue with the far left and the Communist Party, an ideology to my mind probably more cancerous than the fascist far right, but that is a personal view.
In fact, as the Communist Party supporters grow older and older and begin to die off, whilst lamenting how much “better” things were in the USSR, I hope one day that the Communist Party of Ukraine will also die off with them. It would seem appropriate that a system that was supposed to take its people from cradle to grave, goes to the grave with the last remaining supporters of this ideology.
One has to hope that laws such as Law 8711 and Mr Tsarkov’s sodomy fixation also meet a firm rebuttal from those who believe in freedom of assembly, freedom of expression (whatever the cause), and a right to a private life free from the interference of the State. One where anal sex between consenting adults of same or different sexes remains private and does not become unnecessarily dragged into the public domain by becoming the subject of Stalinist show trials once again.
With a nation so immersed in corruption, would such a sodomy law do anything to move away from this, or will the good old days of blackmail and coercion return, where payments are made under the threat of being “outed”? Those who would prima facie support such laws in abstract on the grounds of disliking the very idea of homosexuality, must consider the wider implications in such a corrupt political environment – even if they have no consideration for such basic human rights as freedom of assembly and expression.
Meanwhile, the homophobic elements within Ukrainian society have a champion in the form of Mr Tsarkov and the Communist Party.