VR introduces anti-church bill No. 0931 on the agenda unchanged
The Parliament of Ukraine added a controversial bill to the list of issues that do not require further development and additional procedures.
On February 4, 2020, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved the Resolution on the agenda of the third session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the ninth convocation No. 2835, in which the disputed bill No. 0931 “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine (regarding the harmonization of legislation in the field of preventing and combating discrimination with the law of the European Union)” is listed in issues that do not require improvement, reports the website of the“ All-Ukrainian Council”.
The Resolution consists of three sections: bills that are proposed to be rejected; bills that need to be finalized; and bills ready for discussion on the agenda of the third session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
In turn, the third section of already prepared bills has two annexes:
1. bills fully prepared for consideration at plenary sessions and not requiring additional procedures;
2. bills that are instructed to further amend.
Anti-church bill No. 0931, restricting freedom of speech and belief, was added unchanged to the first annex of the third section: to the list of issues prepared for consideration at plenary sessions.
The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO) has repeatedly stated the need for a thorough revision of bill No. 0931. This issue was raised at a meeting of the AUCCRO with the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky. Religious leaders of the country asked the head of State to support their amendments to the controversial bill No. 0931 on freedom of speech and belief so that the fight against discrimination does not lead to harassment of citizens' constitutional rights.
On December 17, 2019, after a rally near Rada, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Committee Dmitry Lubinets said that work on the disputed bill would continue and invited the Council of Churches to dialogue.
According to the members of the AUCCRO, the bill will oppress the religious convictions of a physician refusing to make an abortion or euthanasia, an official refusing to register a same-sex marriage, a priest preaching about the sin of homosexuality, or a businessman refusing to manufacture products with immoral slogans.