Ukrainians march for LGBT+ rights after five hoax bomb scares

Member of the European Parliament Rebecca Harms takes part in the Pride march in central Kyiv last month (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty)

Thousands of Ukranian people turned up to support LGBT+ rights in spite of a looming threat of violence.

Around 3,500 people took to the streets of Ukraine’s capital city to march for LGBT+ rights on Sunday.

The thousands of marchers walked peacefully through the streets of Kiev despite facing threats from far-right activists.

Around 2,500 police officers guarded the march.

Participants attend a pride march in central Kyiv on June 17, 2018. (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty)

The activists were subject to five bomb hoaxes the night before the Pride parade.

“It’s the most outstanding pride in the history of the (Equality March)” Maryana Herts told Kyiv Post.
“The pride march means that we are visible, that we are present, and that we deserve the same equal rights as everyone else.”

Participants wave the gay rights movement’s rainbow flags in central Kyiv during the LGBT Equality march on June 18, 2017 (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty)

LGBT+ rights are still fraught in Ukraine.

While it is illegal to discriminate against same-sex couples, LGBT+ people narrowly evaded being subject to a Russia-style gay propaganda law in March.

A petition posted on the Ukrainian government’s website “asked for measures to be taken to stop propaganda of homosexuality and to defend family values” and was, accordingly, removed from the electronic petitions section.

Patricipants wave banners and flags as they attend Kyiv Pride (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty)

The Ombudsperson on Human Rights, Non-discrimination and Gender Equality removed the petition after it said that it “calls to restrict human rights and elements of incitement to restrictions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (belonging to the LGBT community).”

One couple who spoke to PinkNews revealed that their daughter was refused an education because she was the child of same-sex parents.

This couple faced difficulties in both Russia and Ukraine as an LGBT+ couple

This couple faced difficulties in both Russia and Ukraine as an LGBT+ couple

After fleeing Russia for sanctuary in the neighbouring country, they said that they faced similar levels of discrimination in Kiev.

“Even if things don’t get that bad, we can’t have our child lose out on her education. She’s missed a whole year of school so far,” Esenia told PinkNews.

“It’s tough, but we keep hoping and now it’s brighter than was month and half before.”

This is the fifth time the Equality March has taken place in Kiev.