Ukraine finally passes anti-bias law, a prerequisite for visa-free travel to EU

Ukraine’s parliament passed amendments to the Labor Code that will end lingering Soviet-era workplace discrimination over sexual orientation, political and religious beliefs.

The law was the most controversial bill in parliament among a package of anti-corruption and other legislation the European Union requires in its visa liberalization action plan.

The voting process has been excruciating, requiring six rounds of voting and frantic consultations before it finally passed. In the last unsuccessful vote, 219 lawmakers voted in favor, seven votes short of the votes that are needed for a bill to pass. Parliament’s speaker Volodymyr Groysman announced:  “Dear deputies: Seven votes stand between us and a visa-free regime,” before calling a break.

Arguing in favor of the bill, Groysman said that “the individual and his rights are at the foundation of our society.” He ensured that the anti-discrimination measure had no bearing on the broader issue of gay rights. “God forbid same-sex marriages in our country,” he said.  Read more via Kyiv Post