MPs to consider laws threatening morality, family and Church

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is going to adopt laws dangerous for believers. Photo:

The agenda of the new session of the Verkhovna Rada includes a record number of laws dangerous for believers.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has prepared the agenda for the new session of 2022. It includes a record number of laws threatening morality, family, and the Church, reports the “All-Ukrainian Council”.

The list of major dangerous laws that the Verkhovna Rada may vote on:

1. Bill No. 0931 “On Harmonizing Legislation in Preventing and Combating Discrimination with the Law of the European Union”. According to experts, this bill is one of the most dangerous for believers of different faiths. It implies severe penalties for any criticism of LGBT people and restricts freedom of speech and religion.

2. Bill No. 5488 to combat manifestations of discrimination. The document implies the introduction of fines and imprisonment for up to 8 years for criticism or negative attitude towards LGBT people. The bill is practically a duplicate of the dictatorial bills No. 3316 / 2-3 /, which were withdrawn due to the active opposition of believers.

The draft law provides for fines for speaking out negatively about LGBT people. If this is said at a sermon in a church, then this will be interpreted as a crime committed by a group of people based on intolerance and will entail a punishment of 5 to 8 years in prison.

The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO) has previously appealed to the Parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers with a call to reject this bill.

3. Media Bills No. 2693-2 and No. 2693-d. Draft laws 2693-2 and 2693-d set a fine of up to UAH 350,000 for criticizing gay parades and LGBT people. The AUCCRO also opposes these bills.

In particular, the AUCCRO is concerned that the draft law provides for fines "for the dissemination of statements that discriminate against individuals and groups". Representatives of religious organizations see risks in this wording for the exercise of the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.

4. Bill No. 4598 threatens freedom of speech and is dangerous to freedom of religion. The law is about amending some legislative acts of Ukraine that concern the prohibition of sexism. Along the way, it is proposed to amend the Administrative Code of Ukraine. But, according to experts, this will entail equating sexism with domestic violence. The punitive sanctions that this law provides for are a fine, corrective labour or administrative arrest for up to 7 days.

For Christians, the wording that sexism is “supporting and reinforcing gender stereotypes” is a threat. Thus, any resistance to the spread of gender ideology can be regarded as sexism and an illegal act.

5. Bill No. 6326-1 on preventing the allocation of budgetary funds for the implementation of programs and activities containing signs of direct or indirect discrimination and intolerance against individuals and their groups.

The document provides for amendments to the Budget Code of Ukraine, which veto funding for programs and activities that have signs of direct or indirect discrimination, intolerance against individuals and their groups based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Thus, any spiritual and educational projects can be deprived of state funding upon the complaint of LGBT representatives.

6. Bill No. 6327-1 amending the Criminal Code of Ukraine to counteract discrimination. This refers to a new version of Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine which will provide for liability for public calls for violence based on intolerance (towards sexual orientation, gender identity), as well as other deliberate actions aimed at inciting enmity and hatred based on intolerance (towards sexual orientation, gender identity), as well as for the same actions committed by officials using their official position.

7. Bill No. 6325-1 “On Counteracting Direct or Indirect Discrimination and Intolerance against Individuals and their Groups”. The pitfalls of this draft law are amendments to Article 28 of the Law of Ukraine “On Publishing”. The consequence of its adoption may be that all religious books and studies that condemn homosexuality or LGBT people may be recognized as “inciting discrimination” and, accordingly, they may even be banned, up to the Bible, because no exception is provided.

As the resource notes, they plan to introduce a dangerous norm into the Law of Ukraine “On Child Protection”.

“All children on the territory of Ukraine, regardless of race, colour, age, disability, gender, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, ... or any other circumstances, have equal rights and freedoms,” the new text reads.

This means that, for the first time, it is proposed to formalise in law that children can have non-traditional sexual orientations and different gender identities. In other words, children can be gay, lesbian, transgender and more than a hundred other genders from childhood.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the AUCCRO called for the rejection of the bill on “intolerance” towards LGBT people.

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