Family protection petition submitted for government’s consideration
The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations calls on the authorities not to arbitrarily restrict freedom of speech.
In its address to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations speaks of a biased, selective approach to the operation of the "Electronic Petitions" service. The Council expressed concern over the restriction of the right of citizens to uphold the moral and family values that are fundamental for any society and to freely express their views, reports the Institute of Religious Freedom.
The reason for the appeal was the removal on the night of March 28 from the Official Internet Office of the President of Ukraine Petition No. 22/042484-e of 26.01.2018, containing a request to take actions to protect traditional family values. This initiative has been supported by many Ukrainian citizens, including Churches and religious organizations, which consistently protect family and marriage in Ukraine as a union of man and woman. On March 27 this Petition collected almost 23 thousand signatures of Ukrainians out of 25 thousand, necessary for its official consideration.
The petition was removed following the letter of the Authorized Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oksana Filipishina, who found out in it "incitement to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (belonging to the LGBT community)".
"Such an appraisal by an official is not sufficient to deprive the initiators and signatories of the Petition of the right to freedom of expression. And although some of the proposals of this petition are debatable, it should not deprive citizens of Ukraine, who are concerned about the future of their children and issues of the family policy of the state, of their right to freely express their opinion, publicly disseminate their views and initiate public discussions on homosexuality and same-sex relations,” noted the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches in its appeal.
Religious figures remind the head of state that the Constitution of Ukraine guarantees everyone the right to freedom of thought and speech, to freely express their views and convictions (art. 34). In their opinion, the promotion of opinions and proposals in defense of the family and marriage as a union of men and women should not be restricted by the state in favor of gender ideology, which denies it and aggressively imposes same-sex relations as a norm.
The All-Ukrainian Council declares about the discrimination against those citizens who oppose the legalization of same-sex partnerships, since they are deprived of the right to criticize these phenomena, while the supporters of gender ideology are not subject to restrictions on the part of the state. This shows the selective, discriminatory attitude of certain officials to various participants in the public debate on state family policy, emphasized in the appeal.
"The public of Ukraine, which stands for the moral and psychological health of society, seeks to educate children in the atmosphere of a healthy family, and therefore will not allow the introduction in our country of harmful social experiments like gender ideology. We will continue to resolutely resist encroachments on the Ukrainian family and marriage as a union of man and woman, using various public and non-public forms of public expression of will – both voting at polling stations, and petitions, street demonstrations and protests," sums up the organization in its appeal to the President of Ukraine.
The Council of Churches expects President Petro Poroshenko to resume previously published Petition No. 22/042484-ep (author – V. Tantsiura) with not less than 22,837 signatures collected under it. At the same time, a similar petition on the website of the Cabinet of Ministers has so far collected more than 28,000 signatures of citizens from the necessary 25,000, and has already been sent for official consideration by the Government of Ukraine.
Recall that on April 4, about a thousand citizens gathered in the center of Kiev to protect their right to freedom of speech and expression of traditional views on family and marriage.