top2.gif - 6.71 K

bannerbot.gif - 8.68 K

Gays & Lesbians Don't Exist Legally

Compiled By GayToday

ukraine3.jpg - 7.00 K Though homosexuality is not recognized in Ukraine, gay publications such as this are thriving Lugansk, Ukraine--The first gay and lesbian organization in Ukraine, a human rights group, has not been granted legal status and its registration for such a status has been postponed for an indefinite term.

An official of the nation's registering body has not made a decision because, he says, he doesn't know "how this subject has a right for life and state recognition". Thereby the documents provided by Our World Gay and Lesbian Center have not been properly examined. Instead, they've been given a "specific" examinination.

Activists believe that in this case officials are neglecting the Constitution of Ukraine which insures its citizens equality before the law.

Gays and lesbians have been singled out as a separate group and, the activists say, doubts have been cast on the legality of their existence as well as on their right to publicly assemble.

Action Alert:

Support Our World Gay and Lesbian Center by contacting Ukranian officials. Telephone or fax a letter of protest to:

Minister of Justice of Ukraine
Mrs. Suzanna Stanik
Tel./Fax: +380-44-2262416
Tel./Fax: +380-44-2283723

Head of Department of Justice in Lugansk Region
Mrs. Pavlova L.I.
Tel./Fax: +380-642-538128
Sample Letter written by Ukranian Gay& Lesbian Activists: (Translation)

Dear Madam Minister!

We turn to you in connection with obvious infringement of law toward people of homosexual orientation in your department.

At the end of 1998 according to the "Law of Ukraine about associations of citizens" gays and lesbians established a public organization – the Regional Information and Human Rights Center for Gays and Lesbians "Nash Mir" (Our World Gay and Lesbian Center – in English). On January 6, 1999 the documents for legalization of the association were submitted to the Department of Justice in Lugansk Region.

Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:
Ukrainian Gay Magazine Ignites Discussion

Ruling Should Grant Europe-Wide Protections


Related Sites:
Our World magazine
GayToday does not endorse related sites.

During a two-months term determined by the law the registering body did not make a decision about state registration of the Our World Center, by that having broken the Article 15.3 of the "Law of Ukraine about associations of citizens".

We consider it is absolutely abnormal when members of the state body, called to oversee the observance of the law, breaks the law instead.

On March 11, 1999 two cofounders of the Our World Center had a conversation with the Head of the Legal Information Department of the Department of Justice in Lugansk Region Mr. V.N. Chikun, who is responsible for approval of the documents for state registration of public organizations.

We have been informed that the registration papers for the Our World Center were forwarded to the Ministry of Justice for a legal expert's examination because, according to Mr. Chikun words, he is not able to find an expert at regional level capable of making it clear "how this subject has a right for life and state recognition".

In the conversation Mr. Chikun established that the Ukrainian law does not reflect this on this subject and, correspondingly, there is no legal basis, resting on which he could draw conclusions.

For our part we reminded him one of the fundamental principles of jurisprudence – there is permitted everything that is not forbidden. However, this view has failed to convince Mr. Chikun.

Mr. Chikun questions the right of such an organization as ours to exist, to promote social acceptability for gay men and lesbians. For our part we emphasize over and over again that we have to be guided in our reasoning by the letter of the law, by the Constitution that guarantees equal rights for citizens of Ukraine and not to interpret them resting on someone's morals or any other principles. Yet we have not been heard.

In the course of this talk we have still not received a sure answer about the date the state will make a decision on our matter.

From what has been said by the official of the Department of Justice in Lugansk Region it is obvious to us that in the course of treating a question about registration of Our World Gay and Lesbian Center there has been applied a "specific" approach, in other words general legal regulations have not been put to use. Thus we have come across facts of homophobia and discrimination.

This fact could be remain unnoticed as well as many other cases of obvious or hidden oppression of homosexual people in Ukraine. However, our case has been without precedent. It takes place in state body faced with the questions of free association and with discrimination against people on account of their sexual orientation. The Our World Center is the first and the only organization of its kind in our state; we consider the problems of gays and lesbians as human rights problems, but not as medical, sexological or any other.

As it became known to us the Department of Justice in Lugansk Region sent to your Ministry a letter No. 1/12-311 of 2.03.1999 on the matter of registration of the Our World Center.

There is requested there "to give a conclusion about the legality of an existence citizens with anomalous sexual orientation"; this wording shocked us. Are we – gays and lesbians – legal citizens of our country?

From the prior talk with lawyer of the Department who made an examination of the Our World Center's statute we have ascertained that from her that the statute documents of our public organization corresponds to current legislation.

Also we wish to note that such competent international organizations as Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) and International Renaissance Foundation are already acknowledged the significance of the Our World Center's activities and have decided to support it.

Yet your Ministry's officials exaggerate a question about morality and legality of our – gays and lesbians – existence. It is a shame for Ukraine.

We ask you to take urgent measures to correct the evident breaking of the law towards gays and lesbians in Ukraine.

We ask you to promote taking a decision about state registration of our organization without delay.

Sincerely yours,

The founders of the Our World Gay and Lesbian Center

Andriy Maymulakhin
Andriy Kravchuk
Alexander Zinchenko

Our World Center:
Postal address:
P.O. Box 62
Lugansk, 348051,
Tel./fax: +38-0642-479422

bannerbot.gif - 8.68 K
© 1997-99 BEI