A petition to legalize same-sex marriage in Ukraine has obtained more than 28,000 signatures, and has now gone to President Volodymyr Zelensky for further consideration.
The petition, which was created in June by Sovenko Anastasia Andriivna, appears to have been inspired by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February. While some LGBTQ+ individuals fled the country, others stayed to fight the advancing Russian forces.
“At this time, every day can be the last,” the petition reads. “Let people of the same sex get the opportunity to start a family and have an official document to prove it. They need the same rights as traditional couples.”
While LGBTQ+ rights and visibility have gained ground in Ukraine, same-sex marriages and civil unions are not currently recognized.
Homosexuality has been legal in the country since 1991.
“It is important that LGBTQ people have the right to see their partner and take their body from the morgue, and seek compensation if needed,” said Oksana Solonska, media communications manager with Kyiv Pride, while speaking with the BBC. “All married couples have these rights. We hope that same-sex marriage will be legalized, so people will be able to take care of each other.”
By Ukrainian law, petitions that receive more than 25,000 signatures are sent to the president, who then has ten days to respond to the request.
Whether or not Zelensky will support the call for legalizing gay marriage remains unclear.
According to a telephone survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in May – and as reported by the BBC and Forbes – 38.2% of Ukrainians surveyed had a negative view of LGBTQ+ individuals, down from 60.4% from the previous survey six years ago.