Ukrainian Bill Banning “Promotion of Homosexuality” Passes First Reading, with 289 Votes (out of 350 Present)

So report RIA Novosti, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Kyiv Post, and Lenta.ru (in Russian). From the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty story:

The draft, approved by lawmakers on October 2, would make what it calls “promotion of homosexuality” — defined as taking action to create a positive portrayal of gays — a crime.

Supporters of the bill argue in a note accompanying the draft that “the spread of homosexuality constitutes a threat to national security” because the lifestyle choice could lead to an HIV/AIDS “epidemic,” destroy the institution of family, and lead to a shortage of children which could trigger a “demographic crisis.”

The bill calls for punishment of up to five years in jail.

Parliament must approve the bill in a second reading before it can be sent to President Viktor Yanukovych for signature into law. Reports say it is unclear if Yanukovych intends to sign it….

The measure follows similar legislation that was passed and took effect this year in Russia’s second city of St. Petersburg and has been proposed in Russia’s State Duma lower house of parliament….

The bill’s [authors] have reportedly cited the Oscar-winning Hollywood film “Brokeback Mountain,” which features gay love between two male cowboys, as an example of what could be considered homosexual propaganda under the measure….

Thanks to Don Kates for the pointer; for my earlier post about the bill, before the most recent vote, see here. The Ukrainian language text is available here; I don’t know Ukrainian, but it’s close enough to Russian that I can get a general sense, and the operative text seems consistent with the news account. In particular, the operative text does seem short and lacking in a definition of “promotion of homosexuality,” though I’m not sure whether the longer explanatory note accompanying the operative text has something useful.