Zelenskiy opens door to same-sex civil partnerships in Ukraine as activists call for legal protection during war

In an online written response, Zelenskiy explained that it would be impossible to legalize same-sex marriage while the country is at war because it would require changes to the constitution.

But he said that his government “worked out decisions regarding the legalization of registered civil partnerships in Ukraine as part of the work to establish and ensure human rights and freedoms.”

The call for same-sex marriage in the country has been accelerated by the war due to the number of LGBTQ+ people serving in the military and the greater legal protection that married civilians have.

“The Family Code of Ukraine determines that the family is the primary and basic unit of society. The family consists of persons who live together, are connected by a common life, have mutual rights and obligations. According to the Constitution of Ukraine, marriage is based on the free consent of a woman and a man (Article 51) “Zelensky wrote on the website of the Ukrainian president.

“The Constitution of Ukraine cannot be changed during martial law or a state of emergency (Article 157 of the Constitution of Ukraine),” he explained.

LGBTQ+ activists marched in Kyiv during last year's city pride.

However, Zelenskiy said he would work with his ministers to “ensure the rights and freedoms” of all Ukrainians.

“In the modern world, the level of democratic society is measured, among other things, by state policy aimed at ensuring equal rights for all citizens. Every citizen is an integral part of civil society, he has all the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine,” Zelensky said. “All people are free and equal in their dignity and rights.”

Zelensky also thanked the more than 28,000 people who signed the petition for their “active citizenship.” According to Ukrainian law, the president must consider petitions that have received more than 25,000 signatures.

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In June, the UN identified LGBTQ+ people as a group particularly affected by the war and said that LGBTQ+ refugees from the country “are often at increased risk of exclusion, exploitation, violence and abuse and face clear protection risks.”

Ukraine legalized homosexuality after the fall of the Soviet Union, but the country still has anti-LGBTQ sentiment and laws in place. Workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited, but there is no legal recognition of same-sex relationships, and same-sex couples are prohibited from adopting children and are not protected by hate crime laws, according to Watchdog. ILGA Europe.

The organization ranks Ukraine 39th out of 49 European countries for LGBTQ+ rights.

A pride parade usually takes place in Kyiv every year, but in June organizers joined forces with a similar event in neighboring Poland, celebrating it in Warsaw amid war at home.