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Politicians, orgs call for protection of LGBTQ Ukrainians

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The Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and the LGBTQ Victory Institute are calling on the U.S. to protect Ukrainian LGBTQ leaders as a war with Russia begins.

Russia has in recent decades have implemented some of the world’s most repressive anti-LGBTQ laws. While not as welcoming as many western countries, Ukraine has been relatively more benign than Russia.

“The Ukrainian LGBTQ community has struggled to gain acceptance and political inclusion for generations,” said Annise Parker, president and CEO of the Victory Institute. “With recent shifts in public opinion, however, there have been clear glimmers of hope. The Russian government, on the other hand, continues to promote bigoted, anti-LGBTQ policies designed to extinguish LGBTQ people from politics and society.”

Parker said that with reports that Russia had a “kill list” of Ukrainian leaders, the institute was concerned about the safety of LGBTQ political leaders in the country.

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) joined the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and the Congressional Ukraine Caucus in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging steps be taken to protect LGBTQ and other minorities in Ukraine.

“LGBTQ Ukrainians as well as Ukrainians with disabilities, the elderly, and other marginalized groups face greater hurdles in seeking safety as a Russian incursion into Ukraine begins,” the letter stated. “We must safeguard the rights of marginalized people in Ukraine and ensure they are protected as this crisis unfolds.”

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