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Country Overview

Ukraine

At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?

Yes

Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?

Yes

Legal Gender Recognition Possible?

Yes

LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?

Yes

Actions Related to SOGI at the UN:

2016: Supported IE SOGI

2019: Supported IE SOGI

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Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the country has sought to move toward democratic values, despite ongoing interference and influence from Russia, persistent corruption, and other political setbacks. Over this period, and especially since the 2014 “Revolution of Dignity,” which toppled the Russia-backed government, Ukraine’s LGBTIQ human rights movement gained significant momentum. Key milestones included a 2015 law prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (among other categories) and legal gender recognition for transgender Ukrainians, although being transgender is still pathologized by medical authorities. Ultra-nationalist, right-wing elements still exist in the country, as do negative societal attitudes towards LGBTIQ people; however, a 2022 poll suggested that 64% of the population (compared to 33% in 2016) believed that LGBTIQ people should have equal rights. Since 2016, Pride celebrations have taken place around the country, including in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa. In 2021, more than 8,000 participated in Kyiv Pride’s march in the city’s center with state protection. Russia’s expanded and brutal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, of course, has changed everything. Ukrainian LGBTIQ human rights organizations, which were gaining traction on a range of human rights issues before the war, immediately pivoted to providing emergency support to their communities, including facilitating evacuation from occupied territories, setting up safe housing, and providing food and medications. While the stakes are high for all Ukrainians, the looming prospect of Russia annexing the country and imposing its hateful homophobic legislation and anti-gender ideologies on Ukraine weighs especially heavy on LGBTIQ Ukrainians.

Global Impact

Sub-Saharan Africa

Outright supports LGBTIQ organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and works with mainstream human rights organizations to respect human rights and influence positive changes in laws, policies, attitudes, and beliefs that cause discrimination against LGBTIQ people on the continent.

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United Nations

Our work at the United Nations centers around advocating for the advancement of the rights of LGBTIQ people.

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Asia

Our work in Asia promotes acceptance of sexual and gender diversity at all levels of society.

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Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa, we partner with local groups in various countries as part of our international solidarity work. We also work with our local partners on different topics through capacity building, advocacy, research and holistic security.



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Europe and Central Asia

Outright International partners with activists to fight for an end to human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in Europe and Central Asia, where most of our work involves emergency responses to harassment, discrimination, violence and most recently, Russia’s brutal and expanded invasion of Ukraine.

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Americas

Our work in the Americas continues to build on the fundamental and positive transformation of human rights protections in recent years. We partner with groups in the Caribbean that focus on ending gender-based violence and eradicating discrimination against trans people.

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Pacific

Our work in the Pacific aims to increase visibility of activists, respond to human rights emergencies, and actively bridge local, regional and international activism to achieve equality and justice.

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Human Rights Research

Since 1990, we have partnered with activists from all over the world to produce hundreds of groundbreaking reports.

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