Council of Churches: the Istanbul Convention was ratified in a rush without the public discussion promised
This is reported by the AUCCRO website.
In addition, instead of a civilized discussion, religious figures and believers who had reasonable comments on the content of the Convention have in recent days faced numerous manifestations of hatred and hate speech on the part of a number of supporters of the ratification of this document, which is heard in various media outlets.
During meetings with both President Volodymyr Zelensky on December 17, 2021, and Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk on February 4 this year, religious figures heard assurances that additional consultations and proper public discussion will be held regarding differences in views on the Istanbul Convention.
But so far, the public has not received a full explanation of how exactly the Istanbul Convention can improve the current legislation of Ukraine in the field of countering domestic violence. What practical changes will take place? And can these changes be achieved without ratifying the Istanbul Convention?
Also, religious parents of different faiths are concerned about the content of “educational material on issues such as non-stereotypical gender roles”, as required by the Istanbul Convention in Article 14. Will this content extend to promoting same-sex relationships among students as norms of sexual behavior?
The AUCCRO hopes that the president and Parliament of Ukraine will not repeat such mistakes, ignoring the opinion of a significant part of Ukrainian society, which is religious citizens of Ukraine.
In addition, the intolerance shown in the media space to the opinion of the religious community, unwillingness to conduct a dialogue, and objections to the right of religious associations to participate in the public life of the country should be a wake-up call for Ukrainian society.
The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations is a public union and has the right to fully participate in public discussions on lawmaking or important state decisions. The presence or absence of religious beliefs does not restrict citizens' right to express their position, so it is unacceptable for us to try to restrict a number of basic human rights, such as freedom of conscience, religion and freedom of speech, under the slogans of fighting for freedom.
The AUCCRO believes that there should be a place in Ukrainian society for freedom of thought, speech and expression – without hatred and threats for those who have a different opinion on certain legislative or public initiatives.
The Council of Churches will continue to actively promote the fight against such evils as domestic violence, thereby truly protecting the traditional moral, spiritual, and family values of the Ukrainian people, which come from the natural state of affairs. At the same time, the AUCCRO will continue to resist the imposition of artificial ideological structures on society that contradict the very nature of man as God's creation.
It is worth recalling that in recent years in Ukraine, more than 100 local councils at all levels (regional, city, town) voted against the ratification of the Istanbul Convention and protested on behalf of their constituents against attempts to integrate gender ideology into the legislation and public life of Ukraine.