After responsibly weighing the situation that our country has found itself in for more than a year, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other people of good will decided to contribute to defence of the ideas of freedom, peace, democracy and equal rights and opportunities for all. Thus, one of the largest forums for discussion of issues of equality in Ukraine will be held for the fourth time in Kyiv. For numerous foreign guests this will be an occasion to share their achievements in the development of democracy and human rights, and for many Ukrainians (especially those from the temporarily occupied territories) this will be perhaps the only opportunity to talk about problems of discrimination they face.
Human rights are always on time!
On 6th of June 2015 Equality March will take place as a part of the International Forum "KyivPride2015". This is a peaceful demonstration in support of the idea of the need to respect human rights, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or any other markers. Even now, at the stage of its preparation, friends and partners from Ukraine and abroad, including a number Euromaidans in foreign countries, expressed their solidarity with the March.
Besides Equality March, more than 20 various events will take place during week-long International Forum. The program of “KyivPride2015” includes round table on the rights of LGBT people in Ukraine, discussions on the development of the LGBT movement, training on educational activities for students, the films about Ukrainian Pride and LGBT movement, exhibitions by Ukrainian and German civil initiatives, cultural recreational activities for the LGBT community and friendly people. The program of KyivPride will be attended by activists from all regions of Ukraine, representatives of LGBT organizations from Germany, Canada, Moldova, Belarus, Serbia, Georgia, etc., diplomats, human rights activists, public figures from EU countries.
KyivPride will be held fourth time this year. Undeclared war in the country is not a reason to refuse the rights and freedoms to citizens. Over the last 12 months Ukrainian LGBT community had to face many challenges: the refusal of the Kyiv authorities to guarantee the safety of Equality March in 2014, arson of "October" cinema, exclusion of LGBT issues from national strategy in the field of human rights. These unfortunate events have shown that the government is not able to guarantee our rights and freedoms and does not seek to control the negative social tendencies and intolerance. "While Ukraine is at war, officials at all levels use this to legalize discrimination against the LGBT community and to justify restrictions on rights and opportunities to citizens of Ukraine. We constantly suffered harassment from the authorities but now our position became almost unbearable - increased level of aggression in society is directed at us, as one of the most vulnerable categories of the population,"- says Anna Sharygina, Director of the International LGBT Forum "KyivPride2015".
This year the International LGBT Forum "KyivPride2015" will be held under the slogan "Human rights are always on time". It is aimed at everyone who is not indifferent to the ideals of democracy, equality, solidarity and mutual respect. To overcome with dignity trials that we are facing today, we must build a new, better state based on the rule of law. The human being should be the highest value, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, age, religion, health status or any other characteristics. In hoc signo vinces! After all, as the human rights activist, member of the Organizing Committee of "KyivPride2015” Nazarii Boyarskyi states: "History tells us that wars and revolutions have any sense only if they provide the opportunity for winning more rights and freedoms. If we are witnessing the unjustified infringement of our rights, it’s ‘of the devil’. Now everyone is fighting – some are doing this with weapons in their hands, on borders of Ukraine, while the others are fighting for people’s brains. Attitude towards KyivPride is an indicator. Using this indicator everyone can establish what is winning in your head – freedom and equality or totalitarianism and contempt towards others".
From the history of the event:
International LGBT Forum KyivPride was established in 2012. The fate of Equality March was different in different years. In 2012, despite the success of the closed events for the community, Equality March was blocked by hooligans and radicals that city authorities were unable to cope with. However, in 2013 March was held with the participation of the LGBT community, human rights activists and visitors from other countries. City officials, though treated this human rights event coldly, corrected their mistakes from 2012 and guaranteed the safety of the March. Last year, mayor of Kyiv and leaders of the responsible structures publicly refused to defend the right of citizens of Ukraine to peaceful assembly and Organizing Committee of KyivPride 2014 was forced to abandon the idea of holding a peaceful demonstration.