This year, the Equality March is held in Kyiv on June 23.
Several hundred participants of the rally have gathered near Taras Shevchenko University. Representatives of some public organizations, namely Human Rights Watch are also there.
Here is a background and expectations of March of equality being the part of KyivPride week.
What is KyivPride?
KyivPride is Ukrainian public organization, and according to the site, the goal is to assist the absolute respect for LGBT+ human rights by increasing the visibility and participation in society live. PO KyivPride annually organizes KyivPride week as well as is taking routine activities during the year.
A KyivPride week is an annual event that takes place to expose the challenges and lifestyle of the Ukrainian LGBT community.
Equality March is the top event of KyivPride week, the public march to raise respect for LGBT rights.
Timeline of previous marches
- The first March was set up for 2012 in Kyiv, but it was canceled because of aggressive opponents.
- The March-2003 march had a few dozen of participants rallying down the Prermohy Avenue.
- The March of 2004 was canceled again due to police unreadiness to provide security.
- 250 people were on March in 2015.
- The March of 2016 had from 1000 to 2000 people.
- 2500 in 2017 and 5000 people took part in March in 2018.
Public support of the March
Recent years Ukrainian People’s Deputies, authors, journalists and other well-known public figures advocated for KyivPride (they include Serhiy Leshchenko, Larysa Denysenko, Irena Karpa, Irina Slavinskaya, Mustafa Nayyem, etc.)
This year LGBT community invited the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky to the March of Equality:
“Dear Mr. President, we share your position that a man is the biggest value for the state. Thousands of Ukrainians will come out on March of Equality full of confidence in the European future of Ukraine. And you, Mr. President, will you become the first president to come on the March and give the respect for human rights?” reads the letter.
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, the leader of ‘Holos’ party and Okean Elzy frontman also supported LGBT rights.
On the eve of Equality March 2019
On the eve of Equality March 2019 Ukrainian MP Igor Mosiychuk attempted to ban it. However, the Kyiv District Administrative Court didn’t satisfy his claim.
There were also attacks on LGBT-participants reported in the evening of 19 June.