Ukrainian government looks to legalize same-sex marriage after successful petition

LGBT+ activists in Ukraine have gathered enough signatures on a petition to legalize same-sex marriage to get an official response from President Zelensky.
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In the midst of the war, the government must consider legalizing same-sex marriage. This should give LGBT+ partners of deceased Ukrainians more rights. "Every day could be the last for LGBT+ couples," the activists said. Now that more than 28,000 signatures have been collected, the ball is in the Ukrainian government's court. Volodymyr Zelensky's team must respond to the petition within ten days.

Although the country is in the midst of a war, LGBT+ activists see their action as necessary right now. When same-sex partners are in a relationship, they hardly have any rights. If one of them dies on the battlefield, the partner has no access to the body of their loved one. "It is important that LGBT+ people have the right to see their partner and have their bodies removed from the morgue, and ask for compensation if necessary," Oksana Solonska, media communications manager at Kyiv Pride, told the BBC. "All married couples have these rights. We really hope gay marriage is legalized so people can take care of each other."

The position of the Ukrainian government is not certain. But suddenly legalizing same-sex marriage seems like a big step for the predominantly socially conservative country. Zelensky has never spoken negatively about the LGBT+ community, but other senior officials are less open-minded. For example, a senior adviser to the president called LGBT+ people "disabled". Ukrainian society is also divided on the subject.

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