Kiev Residents Protest Screenings of LGBT Films

MOSCOW -- Screenings of LGBT films at the Ukrainian film festival Molodist triggered street protests in Kiev on Monday.

Several dozen people showed up in front of the Zhovten theater, where Molodist films were being screened, including a special program focused on LGBT issues. Some of the protesters were dressed as janitors and carried brooms. After their colleagues burned an LGBT flag, they swept the ashes.

Participants held up signs with slogans like "Let’s Save Ukraine from Trash!" "Let’s Stop Homosexual Euro-Aggression!" and "Stop Homo-Culture Now!"

Alexander Skvortsov, co-chairman of the non-governmental organization "Parents' Committee of Ukraine," was quoted by the Rosbalt wire service as saying that the government shouldn’t have sponsored a festival featuring an LGBT program. "The state is doing nothing to stop propaganda of homosexuality," he was quoted as saying. "How much money from the state budget was actually spent on gay propaganda?"

The rally took place at a time when Ukraine's population is deeply divided on whether the country should pursue integration with the European Union or, on the other hand, strengthen ties with Russia, where a federal law prohibiting "gay propaganda among minors" was adopted earlier this year.

The LGBT issues section featured, among other films, Xavier Dolan’s Tom a la Ferme (Tom at the Farm), Anna Margarita Albelo’s Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf? and Bruce LaBruce's Gerontophilia. W imie... (In the Name Of) by Polish director Małgorzata Szumowska was named the section's winner.

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