Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has galvanized Ukrainian society in many unexpected ways, but perhaps one of the most remarkable is how it has advanced the rights of LGBTQ people.
In a move that would have been nearly unthinkable a year ago, a Ukrainian lawmaker introduced legislation in the country’s parliament that would give partnership rights to same-sex couples.
This legislation, along with a prohibition against anti-LGBTQ hate speech adopted in December, reflects a sharp rejection of Russia’s effort to weaponize homophobia in support of its invasion.
Russian President Putin has said repeatedly that he attacked Ukraine last year partly to protect “traditional values” against the West’s “false values” that are “contrary to human nature”, like LGBTQ rights in his opinion.
When the war started, Ukrainians generally and people on the front lines started to understand that homophobic rhetoric is a Russian discourse. Ukrainians don't want to be aligned with Russia and they see that homophobia is a Russian world view.
There are a lot of LGBTQ people who are fighting in the Ukrainian trenches. Whereas there have been dozens of reports of trans and homophobic attacks carried out by Russian troops in occupied territories.