Ukraine Shelves ‘Anti-Gay Law’.
Thank you. Law 8711, Ukraine’s proposed gay-gag rule, has been shelved for now. Because of the efforts of All Out members around the world who signed, called, tweeted, shared and stood with local Ukrainian activists, a bill that would have silenced millions has been stalled and hopefully defeated.
Our local contacts are telling us that the law could be brought back in September, but that will be the last chance to pass it before it expires. And next time, we’ll have the upper hand. Without the element of surprise, the forces behind this gay gag rule won’t be able to push it through easily. But we need to be prepared.
Laws like the one in Ukraine are being proposed all over eastern Europe – in Hungary, Russia, Moldova and Lithuania, but momentum is finally on our side! We need the capacity to respond immediately, we need to maintain the momentum – and we need your help!
If we can get 5,000 people to go All Out today by making a small donation (whatever you can!), we can expand our work in Ukraine and other hot spots around the world and give you more ways to stand up for equality, everywhere.
We called and you responded rapidly and with force
It started in May. Word leaked out that Ukrainian politicians were pushing forward a law that would silence straight and LGBT people from “promoting homosexuality” and even make it almost impossible to continue health prevention work fighting diseases like HIV. We partnered with two of Ukraine’s LGBT organizations, Insight NGO and Fulcrum, to plan an immediate response.
With only a few days to act, All Out members swung into action and published an ad in Ukraine’s largest English-language newspaper telling the President not to sign this bill. In just three days, over 75,000 people had taken a stand. But it was far from over. Euro 2012, Europe’s biggest football tournament, was being co-hosted in Ukraine. Many countries were boycotting the games of their own national teams because of human rights violations on the part of Ukraine’s government. Once again, All Out members made sure that LGBT rights – particularly Law 8711 – was at the top of the list of the reasons for these boycotts.
We joined forces with Marcus Urban, Europe’s first out professional footballer, to live-tweet a tournament game between Ukraine and England. With millions of fans watching from around the world, the hash tag #Euro2012 was flooded with pro-gay and anti-Law 8711 messages. The story was covered across the globe – and the pressure kept on coming.
Your actions forced Ukraine onto the front page and to the top of the agenda
With Euro 2012 fever dying away, Law 8711 was brought to Parliament just this week. In two days, over 1000 Europeans called their Foreign Office and asked them to contact Ukraine about Law 8711. And our petition almost doubled in size, swelling to over 120,000 signatures.
This iconic photo (right) was the very first call to action for All Out members. And now, it has become a signal of defiance to bullies and thugs – that they cannot silence people who are standing for equality.
The man who was beaten in this photo was the organizer of Pride in Ukraine – an event that was cancelled only hours before it was due to start because of safety concerns. If Law 8711 passes in September – the very last chance politicians will have to push it through – these kinds of beatings will skyrocket. And there will be no way to label it as a hate crime.
Laws like 8711 are becoming more popular across eastern Europe. We have to be ready to act immediately when these situations rear their ugly heads – Law 8711 has one last gasp in September but we know there are other laws just like it waiting in the wings of at least four more countries. Will you go All Out and make a small contribution to help us expand our work against 8711 and push for equality, everywhere?
Thanks for fighting Law 8711 – thanks for making sure that everyone, everywhere has the freedom to love who they want and be who they choose.