The European Union has reportedly, yet again, dropped its “non-negotiable” demand that a country adopt laws protecting its gay and trans citizens from discrimination, as a pre-requisite to visa free travel within the EU — this time, in Ukraine.
While Ukraine will move forward with passing the necessary non-discrimination law covering race and religion, gays and trans people (“sexual minorities”) have been dropped from the list of demands by the European Commission, according to reports coming from Ukraine today.
(UPDATE: The EU is denying the report. But I suspect that the Ukrainians let slip the truth, and the EU is now doing damage control over the obvious repercussions of staking out a decidedly anti-human-rights position in the middle of a major human rights crisis.)
Interestingly, part of the reason the EU demands such legislation is that it doesn’t want a flood of refugees when it adopts visa-free travel with a region that oppresses its own people.
But Ukraine is still a homophobic country – a Ukrainian TV star was a recent victim of Russia’s brutal anti-gay neo-Nazi kidnapping gangs that operate in Ukraine as well – where the parliament is considering an anti-gay “propaganda” law like that passed law year in Russia, so the LGBT refugees may be on the horizon.
What’s also interesting is that Ukraine is facing a backlash among many in the US and Europe on the basis of the Ukrainian government, and the country’s grassroots Maidan protest, being too cozy with the far-right, which some call neo-Nazis.
So what does the Ukrainian government do? They start refusing to recognize the human rights of their own citizens at the same time they’re asking the US and Europe to help them fight the Russian human rights abuses of their own citizens.
Perhaps the Ukrainian government should explain to gay and trans Europeans and Americans exactly why our countries should risk getting into a conflict with Russia over a country that refuses to respect even the basic human rights of its own citizens?
Who needs the Russians to abuse the human rights of Ukrainians when you’ve got the Ukrainian government and the EU doing their dirty work for them.
It’s really rather amazing. The EU helped usher in an invasion from Russia (by attempting to establish closer ties with Ukraine, and thus provoking Russia – not that I think Russia’s ire is justified), and did little in response.
Russia is about to invade eastern Ukraine as a result, and likely annex even more Ukraine in the near future, and the EU does little in response.
And now the EU gives in, not for the first time, on a non-negotiable “human rights” demand, while making other non-negotiable human rights demands about race and religion, truly non-negotiable.
In other words, according to the European Union and the European Commission, some human rights are more equal than others. Isn’t that the Russians’ point as well?
People often ask why the US is always assuming the role of the “world’s policeman.” Perhaps it’s because the rest of the world’s policemen, especially the European ones, are always off having coffee and beignets.
At least the good news is that Europe may soon be welcoming 4 million LGBT refugees from Ukraine. Good luck with that, Brussels.