September 11, 2017
Representatives of the NGO «Sokil», the youth wing of the «Svoboda» union, threatened with violence, tried to prevent the LGBT community from holding a public action in Mykolaiv. Laying flowers to the monument to those who died during the Revolution of Dignity, right-radicals were defined as «propaganda of perversions.»
To honor the memory of those who died was planned within the framework of the Equality and Pride Days of the LGBT community that took place from 6 to 10 September 2017 in Mykolaiv, Kherson and Odesa. The pride organizer, LGBT Association «LIGA», announced the date, time of the action in advance and openly. The community and the human rights organizations of the region were supposed to join the action. We have officially invited the head of the Mykolaiv Regional Administration to take part in it.
In Facebook, the day before the event, there were reports of the organization of resistance action to laying flowers as such, which, according to one of the right activists, «should not take place in the streets of our city.» As it happened, he did not inform who exactly decides what should or should not happen on the streets. Obviously, this is not a police force that did not prevent dozens of representatives of Sokil from gathering near the monument, but the LGBT Association «LIGA» was recommended not to approach this place and cancel other events planned for the Equality and Pride Days due to possible provocations.
«We lay flowers at the monument each year in Mykolaiv, because to us the Revolution of Dignity is a symbol of the struggle for Ukraine, free of violence, despotism and radicalism. On the squares of different cities, our community stood by everyone else’s side, because it is our country, and we want to see it free and independent. Today, when we honor the memory of the Heaven’s Hundred openly, we are told that this is not our city. That our hometown belongs to someone else, and we have no place here. But it’s not a bad idea during the March of Equality in Kyiv that we chose the words «This Is My Motherland Too». We are equal citizens of our country, and we will fight for our right to free and open life. Ukraine has to choose whose it is — whether those who live by law and who need equal rights, or those who decide with the clubs in their hands, who own our cities «, — said the chairperson of the Association “LIGA” Oleg Alyokhin.
The leadership of the Association and representatives of human rights organizations decided to postpone laying flowers to the monument of the Heaven’s Hundred, and reported the situation to official institutions and international organizations. At present, representatives of the Ombudsperson’s office in Mykolaiv and the United Nations Mission in Ukraine expressed their concern over the aggravated aggression of right-radical groups.
Attention is also drawn to the fact that after the presentation of the «Professional Heart» Award in Kherson to doctors who provide counseling and medical care to same-sex couples, representatives of the «Svoboda», a clergyman of the Greek Catholic Church and the head of the right sector in Kherson oblast, accused the deputies of the Kherson City Council that they are breaking the institution of the family in Ukraine, since they allow «the propagation of unconventional sexual relations«. At the press conference they organized in Kherson during the pride days, the speakers praised the mayor for voting for the Svoboda’s deputies proposition to appeal to the Verkhovna Rada against amendments to the constitution that change the legal framework of the family believes.
Other events of the Equality and Pride Days the community decided to carry out according to the plan, despite threats. Workshops, master classes, forums, fairs, and evenings of culture took place in Mykolaiv, Kherson and Odesa. In total, in three cities, about 400 people took part in the Days of Equality and Pride, among them – representatives of human rights organizations, doctors, psychologists, journalists.
The Equality and Pride Days was launched in 2008 by the LGBT Association «LIGA».
The Association has been working in Ukraine since 1993, carrying out advocacy, human rights, social projects for LGBT people in Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa and Kherson.
For more information on the event, please contact us at +380 50 318-12-90 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.