AUCCRO opposes the introduction of gender ideology in Ukrainian legislation
The All-Ukraine Council of Churches and religious organizations objects to the introduction of gender ideology in the legislation of Ukraine – all the more unacceptable is the criminal prosecution of peaceful participants in pro-family events. We are talking about law No. 3316 which the Council asks the Verkhovna Rada to reject. This is reported by the official website of the AUCCRO.
In its appeal to the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Dmytro Razumkov, and the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on law enforcement (Chaired by Denis Monastyrsky), the AUCCRO notes that Bill No. 3316 "On Amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine (on countering hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity)" creates threats to the implementation of the constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
As an example, in addition to increased criminal liability for the crimes committed based on intolerance to a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, bill No. 3316 proposes to introduce a new article 161-1 and criminalize “the humiliation of persons or groups of persons on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity”.
Similarly, amendments to Article 294 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine can be used for criminal prosecution of participants in peaceful protest actions aimed at promoting gender ideology. The AUCCRO has previously drawn attention to the arbitrary and excessive use of force by officers of the National Police of Ukraine, their unjustified coercion and suppression of peaceful alternative demonstrations in defense of family values, which took place on June 17, 2018, in Kyiv during the so-called "Equality March" by supporters of gender ideology.
“In our opinion, the changes proposed by Bill No. 3316 pose a direct threat to the implementation of the constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression. After all, participants in public discussion, including religious figures who criticize same-sex relationships and partnerships as immoral, sinful and call for limiting the promotion of such an unnatural, dissolute lifestyle, will be at risk of criminal prosecution only for their words and publicly expressed position in favor of natural marital relations,” the AUCCRO notes.
It should be noted that the legislation of Ukraine does not contain a definition of the concept of “gender identity”, and therefore this legal uncertainty is an additional reason for abuse in this area.
As is known, it was through the problematic definition of the term “gender " in 2018 that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine refused to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (known as the Istanbul Convention). This is due to the disagreement of Ukrainian society, including the religious community, with gender ideology, which replaces the concepts of female and male with the concept of "gender”, according to which a person, regardless of their gender, can identify themselves as a woman, a man, or some other more than 50 genders.
Taking this into account, the AUCCRO has called on the parliamentary Committee to reject Bill No. 3316 on amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine (On countering hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity) as one that needs to be finalized after a broad public discussion.