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Ukraine is at the door to legalization of same-sex marriage: civil partnerships are considered by the Parliament. Digest Gaypress.eu, November 2016, #2

Belarusians are learning to make movies about feminists and LGBT. Russian commercial entities started to discriminate LGBT in fear of negative consequences from the authorities. Ukrainian Parliament is considering sensational law draft regarding legalization civil partnership. Highlights of LGBT news from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia in one article. Digest Gaypress.eu, November-2016, №2.

Gaypress.eu, Volha Kashtsialian

Laboratory of feminist and queer cinema was launched in Minsk. Cinema, according to the organizers, is a great tool for drawing attention to social problems and its rethinking. The project is aimed to explore the relationship between feminism, LGBT, queer movements and filming, to put a theory into practice through studying ways to narrate stories, use camera, sound and editing. The program includes 8 intensive workshops, discussions and presentations.

The Parliament of Ukraine considers the draft law «On civil partnership» which should not be confused with marriage. According to one of the developers of the document Nikolai Melnik, the partnership will enable same-sex couples to formalize their relationship and to protect their rights, but will not allow to adopt children, for example. In addition, it will not be recorded in the registry office, but in the notary office, and property disputes between the partners, if there are any, will be resolved through the court.

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The homophobia issue rises more and more often in sport area, and in particular in football. While European players and human rights activists are calling to combat discrimination, Ukrainian sportsmen, on the contrary, continue to stir up enmity and unhealthy atmosphere.  The latest homophobic statement came out from Ukrainian football player Alexander Aliev. Denying rumors of his homosexuality, he said:

«How can I be a gay? I have children, the parents, I have many friends. How can I look in the people’s eyes if I’m gay? How can I say hello to them, or shake their hands? «

The authorities of Zaporozhye demands from the President and the Parliament of Ukraine to keep the Constitution article that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman without amendment. Also they call to remove the terms «sexual orientation» and «gender identity» from the Labour Code and give up the strategy of «legalization and promotion of same-sex relationships», which threaten traditional family values.

In Ukraine, the human rights activists together with the National police have held a round table discussion on the violation of LGBT rights and the problems that occur in relations between the LGBT and law enforcement agencies. The participants noted the overall lack of confidence to the police due to their negligent conduct with respect to crimes against LGBT people. In general, according to the monitoring, the legal status of LGBT people in Ukraine almost has not changed over the past five years.

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Russian deputies suggest to prohibit any of the five planned prequels about Harry Potter, «If at least one character of the movie has non-traditional sexual orientation». The concern refers to 51-year-old Joanne Rowling’s speculation over  the homosexuality of Albus Dumbledore, who is one of the heroes of the saga.

Two largest Russian crowdfunding platforms refused LGBT organizations to place their project. The administrators have stated that they were interested in neutral initiatives, while LGBT project could «offend other users». Gay activists planned to raise funds for arranging a round table with police authorities in Krasnodar.

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The Ministry of Health of Russia is ringing alarm bells. Ten regions have reached the critical level of HIV infected. The virus has gone beyond the boundaries of the so-called «risk groups», which included addicts, sex workers and homosexuals.

«We are not talking only about homosexuality, we are not talking about some other features. We are saying that the wife gets infected from her husband, and the total increase of HIV-infected people comes at the price of secured women,»— said the Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova.

According to official data, men who have sex with men account for about 10% of all HIV-positive.