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  5. Council of Churches asks Verkhovna Rada to reject bill No. 5488: it is a threat to freedom of speech and expression

Council of Churches asks Verkhovna Rada to reject bill No. 5488: it is a threat to freedom of speech and expression

Combating discrimination can lead to infringements on freedom of religion, speech and expression. This is emphasized by the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations in appeals to the parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers with a call to reject the government bill No. 5488 on combating manifestations of discrimination, vrciro.org.ua reports.

It is noted that the AUCCRO is extremely concerned that gender ideology is again being promoted in Ukrainian legislation, in particular due to attempts to introduce ideological and medical concepts of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Offenses.

Moreover, the addition of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses with a new article 188-56, which recognizes any restriction of rights or privileges on certain grounds as a crime, can lead to the opposite effect.

“As an example, according to the proposed article, the refusal of employment in a religious organization to persons with an unnatural sexual orientation can be recognized as discrimination, because such behavior, according to the doctrines of various confessions, is recognized as sinful and unacceptable for clergy. in most churches and religious organizations, “the Council of Churches said in an appeal.

The AUCCRO is convinced that the changes proposed by the draft law No. 5488 pose a direct threat to the realization of the constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of speech. After all, participants in public discussion, including religious leaders, who will criticize same-sex relationships and partnerships as immoral, sinful and call for limiting the propaganda of such an unnatural, depraved way of life, as well as oppose the expansion of human rights (in particular, in the field of adoption and matrimonial relations), will be under the threat of prosecution and the collection of large fines only for their words and publicly expressed position in favor of natural marital relations.

It should be noted that the legislation of Ukraine does not contain the interpretation of the concepts of “gender” and “gender identity”, and therefore such legal uncertainty is an additional basis for abuse in this area. As the interpretation of gender is constantly changing with new imaginary ideological constructs, this poses constant challenges to the fundamental rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

By promoting the problematic bill No. 5488, the government and parliament can provoke the outrage of millions of believers of different faiths and in different regions who do not accept the imposition of gender ideology (self-identification) on the Ukrainian society and will not tolerate encroachments on freedom of religion and freedom of speech. In this situation, the risk of public protests is very high.

In connection with the threats posed by this government initiative to combat manifestations of discrimination, the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations calls on the government to withdraw bill No. 5488 and parliament to reject it.

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