AUCCRO denounces amendments to laws in Labor Code on "gender identity" and "sexual orientation"
Representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations strongly condemned the bill on amendments to the Labor Code and asked the President to refrain from signing it. According to them, these corrections lead to positive discrimination of sexual minorities, propaganda and discrimination of other parts of society. During a press conference on Thursday, November 19, the Council members presented their position.
According to RISU journalist Tetiana Kalenychenko, representatives of AUCCRO see the main threat, apart from violations of the voting procedure, in the introduction of new terms into the legal environment of Ukraine, which open further way for the implementation of other provisions that are common in Europe: a ban on criticism, introducing quotas in employment, legalizing gay marriage. In particular these terms include the definition of gender identity and sexual orientation,” said Ruslan Kukharchuk, head of Novomedia Association.
“As you saw, at the 3rd and 9th attempts the minimum number of votes was cast for the bill without discussion, without complying with the procedures and considering alternative positions, following which the bill was adopted. This bill leads to excusing sin on legitimate grounds. There is a mechanism of natural sexual union of man and woman. Therefore one cannot claim the naturalness of same-sex relationships, if there is no natural way for men to unite. 20 century witnesses a series of experiments in ideologies. This is actually a social experiment. The point is that the lack of morality will force out an important institution - the institution of family. Churches and religious organizations in Ukraine oppose the discrimination on certain grounds. But one should not discriminate against other citizens at the expense of one category of citizens,” said Chairman of Information Departmnt of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate, Archbishop Yevstratii (Zorya).
In response to the issue of employment for a representative of sexual minorities in church institutions, the ministers stressed that they are ready to accept him, but under certain conditions.
This is possible only under the terms of privacy, i.e. without an open declaration of his orientation and advocacy among religious communities. In fact, this is only possible provided that such person will come secretly, even without opening his own orientation in private conversation. "When we are faced with the choice of God's law and man's law, we will definitely choose God, as in Soviet times", added archbishop Yevstratii.
"We hear confession of such people, we say that it is an acquired trait, we hold conversations with them to fix it. But we are not violating the seal of confession and try to help people,” said Archpriest Mykolai Danylevych, Deputy Head of the Department for External Church Relations (UOC-MP). “I would like to add that we do not stand for discrimination, and we are against the promotion of homosexuality that may arise after the entry of this law into force. The main reason for this decision was the fulfillment of certain requirements for visa liberalization, but there are some countries that have obtained this visa regime even provided criminal penalties for homosexuality. This visa regime can be granted without such arm-twisting,” he added.
Representative and Deputy Chief Rabbi of Kyiv David Milman suggested turning to other issues, including corruption and economic growth rather than the issue of sexual identity and non-discrimination.
"Now everyone may declare his sexual interest during employment, and this is direct discrimination. Accession to the EU is a great idea, but aren’t there many other ways, for example, fighting corruption, developing economy? Is it the only factor that prevents us in this process? I would wait until I see the moment when power truly represents the interests of the people. If we destroy the foundation on which the faith in God rests, in what way do we differ from animals?” he asked.
Earlier the religious leaders proposed other c amendments to the new Labor Code, which contained such definitions as "attitude to a person's sexuality." But then, according to Fr Oleksa Petrov, chairman of the Department for external relations of the UGCC, Parliament did not take note of their recommendations: “Why miss these rules? We know one thing - for the sake of propaganda. Despite everything, when they tried to push this provision in the new Labor Code, AUCCRO submitted its proposal. It enables to prevent discrimination on any grounds. But the Parliamentleaders simply did not take it into account and are striving to introduce two terms into our legal framework.”
The spokesman also handed over the AUCCRO declaration “On the negative attitude to homosexuality and attempts to legalize so-called same-sex marriage (registration of same-sex partnerships)," which was adopted on May 15, 2007. Representative of AUCCRO Chairman, Deputy Senior Bishop of the Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church Igor Lukyanov urges to think about the future: “No one today thinks about our children and our future, how they will influence the course of events. Moreover, we have no moral term, instead of new terms of gender identity. It is important to understand how our children are educated and who we want to see in Ukrainian state in futire.”